The summer after my junior year, I was an intern on the marketing team at a performing arts center in my college town. I learned a little bit, but overall my experience was plagued with boredom and lack of direction. I didn’t have much fun and certainly didn’t feel I made an impact through the work I was doing. Now, after working on the AppNexus University Recruiting team and experiencing a full-fledged internship program, I wish I could go back in time and do it all over again.
AppNexus’ Summer Internship Program is structured and robust, but remains flexible to the intern class’ needs and wants. Overall, the program centers around five key pillars: onboarding, mentorship, events, performance management, and meaningful work.
Onboarding: All interns spend their first week together in onboarding on our office’s basketball court going through AppNexus University, a course designed to teach new hires what they need to know about our company, technology, industry, and culture. It’s also a key time for everyone to get to know each other during their first week.
Mentorship: Each intern is paired with an AppNexpert (AppNexus Expert) who serves as a knowledge buddy, mentor, and friend throughout the summer. AppNexperts help interns get acclimated to and integrated into the AppNexus community.
Events: We survey our interns before the summer begins and organize a variety of educational and social events based on what the class wants to do and learn. Educational events include Learn & Teach sessions, Executive Meet Ups, and the intern FAIRwell, a career-fair style expo where interns present their projects to AppNexians. Social events include going to a Broadway show, catching a Mets game, and breaking records at Escape the Room.
Performance Management: Each intern is assigned a team manager and a university recruiting manager to oversee their performance. Interns have a formal mid-summer and end-of-summer performance review, where managers identify areas of growth and celebrate successes. Consistent feedback and encouragement is key to ensuring our interns are successful throughout their internship.
Meaningful Work: Managers design summer projects with their interns in mind, ensuring the work they’re doing is aligned with the skills and experiences they want to gain. The projects our interns complete have a huge impact on the business and are often utilized long after the intern program has ended. Sound too good to be true? Read about various intern projects from the 2016 interns themselves:
- Jake, Supply Integrations
- Zoe & Katherine, Engineering Quality
- Robert, DevOps
- Annie and Weston, Big Data Systems
- Asad and Aadesh, Full Stack Engineering
- Erin, Real Time Platform
- Jay, Opt Tech
- Adam, Services
- Nicole and Anna, Finance
- Rachel, Account Management
One of our core values here at AppNexus is Making Greatness Happen, which is defined as “helping our colleagues and partners rise to their highest level of ability and engagement.” I witnessed this in our 2016 Summer Intern class in every way possible, but the most impressive display was seen in the robust community built among the interns. Each intern was immersed in the AppNexus culture, joining clubs and sports teams, planning weekend adventures, and eating lunch together every day. The group built each other up to reach high again and again, and their achievements wouldn’t have been possible without the strong relationships that flourished among them. This sense of community is exactly what was missing from my internship experience years ago, and is what I truly believe sets the AppNexus experience apart from others. The opportunity to spend your summer having fun & making an impact? Sign me up! Or rather, you should sign up, because unfortunately, that ship has sailed for me.
About the Author: Nancy Connell is a member of the University Recruiting Team, where her efforts are focused on Princeton, Columbia, and Barnard. Previously, she was a travelling sorority consultant and graduated from Furman University with a BA in Spanish. Outside of the office, Nancy loves running, yoga, and her awesome pup, @theodorablecorgi.