“It’s the moooost wonderful tiiiiiime of the year!”
But wait, Julia, it’s only June.
Ahhh, yes. For those of us working in Campus Recruiting, the most wonderful time of the year isn’t necessarily the winter holiday season; rather, it’s the Stanley Cup finals of the academic calendar: it’s Intern Season! :)
Soon, offices across the world will be buzzing with the brilliant energies of early 20-somethings, who are thrilled beyond measure to begin their summer-long internships, and who are eager to make their marks on their companies of choice. These students have undergone countless hours of rigorous interviews, agonized endlessly over offers, but have finally arrived, and are here (hopefully to stay!).
Here at Appian, we’re entering our 6th summer of formally hosting interns. Although Appian had hosted several interns prior to our 1st official summer, I was personally hired to formalize, develop, and scale what is now our existing Internship Program. I work directly with departmental VPs and other stakeholders to ensure the work given to interns, regardless of the department, will not only create an unparalleled learning experience for the intern, but will also allow the student to contribute as substantially as any other full-time employee in their assigned department.
Wait, what does that mean?
It means you won’t be given mindless and meaningless “busy work” to occupy you for 8 hours a day. On the contrary. You’ll be treated like any other full-time employee in your department, and will contribute as such!
I can’t tell you how many students have approached me bemoaning the above experience. Not at Appian! We take our Internship Program so seriously, that the planning for interns is literally a year-long endeavor.
You heard that correctly! A year-long endeavor. We have a dedicated committee that meets weekly to comb through feedback from the previous summer and apply it in our design for the upcoming summer, continually improving the intern experience year over year!
Intern Program Candidate Criteria
Before I go into some of the program specifics, I’ll shed some light on how we actually select students for the Appian Internship program.
So, what are y’all looking for in potential interns? (i.e., the “Basic Qualifications”)
As a general rule, we seek the most tech-savvy students with a GPA of 3.7 and above for the following positions: Software Engineer — Intern, Quality Engineer — Intern, Cloud Software Engineer — Intern, IT Engineer — Intern, Application Engineer — Intern, Strategy Analyst — Intern,. Not only that: we like to see that you are fairly involved within your university and community, working or have worked a related and substantial internship or two, and have held or are holding a leadership position of some variety along the way. Furthermore: you’re ideally looking to combine your passion for technology with your penchant for strategic problem solving in brilliantly creative ways. See Courtney’s Blog for more information about our overall University Talent Acquisition strategy.
Onboarding, Training, and Mentorship…Oh My!
I’ve accepted my Appian offer and am already getting excited for the summer! What will my first day look like? How about training? And once I’m on board, will I have any kind of mentorship or additional learning opportunities outside of my initial departmental/role-based trainings?
No worries; we’ve got you completely covered!
Your First 3 Days (a.k.a., the Onboarding Experience)
Your first day here at Appian will be a condensed version of the world-class onboarding experience given to all full-time employees (seriously, check out this video; it does a much better job at explaining your first day than I could here in writing!). However, one thing I have to mention is that you’ll get to meet Matt Calkins, our CEO (he’ll be welcoming you to the company!).
(Sneak preview: he’s also hosting Intern board game nights at his home; how cool is that??)
The next two days of orientation will be department-specific introductions which will include, but are not limited to: senior leadership presentations, project introductions, games, and of course, tons of free food! :)
Since we take mentorship super seriously, we have our Interns formally paired with a Mentor — but given that we’re such an open and collaborative culture, the Interns typically form relationships with many other employees who become even an informal Mentor to them.
Wait, so what’s the role of my “formal” Mentor, then?
Your formal (designated) Mentor will be the individual to whom you “report” (like a Manager). Your Mentor will meet with you individually on a weekly basis to share performance-related feedback, and of course, to answer any questions, etc.
Learning & Development
Beyond the training you will receive from your specific department, our Interns have weekly Lunch & Learns, rooted in content housed in Appian University, our one-stop-shop for all things learning related. Within Appian University, one can find thousands of courses ranging from professional development and communication skills, to technical skills and programming-related skills . You can read more about Appian University straight from the mouth of the program lead, Eric Thibault.
Here at Appian, we take fun as seriously as we take our jobs. In addition to any fun events planned by your specific department, Appian Campus Recruiting plans tons of events inside & outside of work. We absolutely LOVE the Washington, D.C. metro area, and are super excited to show you around this city we call Home! :)
Not only that: Appian Interns are service-minded; we love to pay it forward! As part of our summer events calendar, we visit Coder Kids camp, where we spend an afternoon with the next generation of technologists doing team building activities, demos, and an interactive workshop.
For a sneak preview of what you could be up to outside of work, check out this video of last year’s interns having a blast!
We can’t believe the first week of our Internship Program is wrapping up — but then again, time flies when you’re having fun! :)