As companies continue to embrace the new reality of virtual internships, Intuit continues to pull out all the stops to ensure the best experience for our interns. Whether it’s through daily morning check-ins, end of day debriefs or virtual brunches, teams at Intuit are ensuring interns stay connected and have everything they need to succeed.
For Mary Kromer, a strategic sales adviser intern, the Intuit experience started with the first introduction. Says Kromer, a marketing major at the University of Cincinnati, “I chose Intuit because, from the first introduction, I could tell that the company was different. It has held true- almost 2 1/2 months in, everyone no matter their title is always so willing to connect and answer any and all questions. People here really care about the values that Intuit has and I think it is such a change of pace from other employers.”
A virtual internship is definitely not easy and comes with its own set of challenges. Kromer says, “It is not easy learning a new job from your apartment. Internet issues, equipment problems, and burn-out are so real. We all stay connected and communicate really openly about everything. We work together through those issues and if we can help- we do, if we can’t do anything directly- we will listen.”
With no standing desks and meeting spaces available, teams have gone out of their way to connect, communicate and collaborate as much as possible. “With the rest of the interns, it was a very instant connection”, says Fyzah Islam, a corporate affairs intern, “We had so many pre-internship meetings we were already very comfortable with one another. And having shared projects definitely helped.” While the company does provide every opportunity to connect, the interns also felt that they needed to adapt to the new normal. Islam, a first year Master’s student at George Mason university feels that everything comes down to communication. ”In a new, isolating normal, if you stay quiet, you probably won’t get any support or help. You have to self-advocate.”
For Ledornubari Nwilene, a product management intern from Nigeria, the 30/60/90 day plan that her manager had detailed helped her to get clarity on her project focus and identified the key stakeholders. “Connecting virtually has not been the easiest, but I’m so grateful to the University Programs and Recruiting Team for the social events and other initiatives organized during the summer for interns to connect. I set up meetings during my first few weeks with key stakeholders for my project. I proposed Team Time where my core team meets daily to share updates, ask questions, and bond. My manager and I meet three times a week. These consistent communication streams have been so helpful!” she adds.
What are the key takeaways and learnings from their time at Intuit
For Islam the biggest takeaway was to find her own path to make herself believe that she belongs. She says, “At 19 I am easily the youngest person in any of my meetings but that feeling of ‘I don’t know if I’m the right fit for here’ really pushed me to do better in my projects and be as helpful as possible. Everyone I’ve interacted with at Intuit has had such a unique path to Intuit and their academic/personal journeys served as a reminder that there isn’t just one path to any goal.”
Nwilene says, “My project was something completely unfamiliar to me. Being the PM for my team pushed me out of my comfort zone and is allowing me to grow – personally and professionally. I have never worked so closely with engineers and designers, but now I know more not just about PM, but how design systems work and the importance of code refactoring.” She is also excited to see how Intuit’s apps continue to be fueled by AI/ML and help power prosperity for small businesses impacted by the pandemic “I love the push for a more AI-enriched and connected future.” says the Drexel University Computing and Security technology major.
For Kromer having a growth mindset is key, and asking questions is a great way to achieve that. “Being coachable is also HUGE! if someone gives you feedback, take it with an open mind and implement it!”, she says. Something that she felt was huge for her was attending Intern Summit.
No internship at Intuit is complete without the annual, 2-day Intern and Co-op summit. This is a great opportunity for interns to interact with our CEO Sasan Goodarzi and other senior leaders from areas like Design and Marketing. Members of the REAL Team- Director of Racial Equity, LaToya Haynes, and Global DE＆I Programs Leader, Damion Wright discussed the important initiatives they help drive for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion within the company. A few interns showcased their projects during the Gallery Walk and MBA Case Competition and we hosted our first Intern’s Got Talent competition to close out Summit on Day 2. “The speakers there were so amazing, and really gave me a lot to think about personally,” Kromer says.
Someone who has experienced the Intuit path to learn and grow is Emma Anderson, software engineer at Intuit, a former intern now full time employee. Anderson recalls, “My internships gave me the opportunity to adopt the latest technology like cryptocurrency and in-app dark mode. At Intuit, I always feel encouraged to learn new things and embrace innovation, which is why even during my full-time role I’m experimenting with new coding languages like SwiftUI.”
Your message to other interns
For Kromer, it is to ask a million questions, “ Connect with people on and off of your team. Everyone here is so willing to talk, it would be a waste to pass up all those opportunities.”
While Islam concurs and advises other interns to speak up and not shy away from questions she also says “but it’s okay not to have questions. And above all, don’t be afraid to say no.
Nwiline says that it is very important to have a clear idea of what you want in an internship and let your manager know early on so they can align your projects with your areas of interest. ‘Also she says, “Don’t forget to enjoy – it’s so easy to get buried in your work that you forget to attend those social events. Schedule 1:1s with other peers/interns or do something fun to take a break. Find a healthy balance and consistently maintain it. You cannot pour from an empty cup, so please be kind to yourself!”
Anderson sums it up best, “Being an intern is your superpower. Once you tell someone you’re an intern, they will go out of their way to help you and support you. Use that to your advantage. Seek out mentors who are at a place in their career that you aspire to reach someday. Attend socials, tech talks, and other Intuit events, and if you meet or hear from someone who inspires you, invite them to a coffee chat. You’d be surprised by the wealth of advice you’ll receive by interacting with new people”
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