Taking an entire internship program online isn’t easy. But when COVID-19 forced work & life online back in March, thousands of companies had to quickly adapt their internship programs to the circumstances. For the employers that were able to keep their internship programs running, they were tasked with figuring out everything from remote work logistics to programming changes to online community building. Despite these challenges, companies rose to the occasion and gave their interns a truly unforgettable summer, both personally and professionally.
Read on to learn about 50 awesome remote summer internships, listed in alphabetical order.
The healthcare technology company’s 230 interns had access to a number of tools and experiences virtually that they wouldn’t have had completing an in-person internship. The company created its own app—Abbott InternLink—where interns could share 30-second introduction videos and participate in virtual scavenger hunts and trivia nights with their counterparts throughout the world. In addition to multiple individual mentors, Abbott also provided groups of four or five interns with senior coaches, along with opportunities to speak directly with executives through video chat sessions and seminars run by inspirational figures such as former astronaut Leland Melvin. Finally, interns had the chance to collaborate across teams in a Shark Tank-style competition, where they pitched the company on new products to invest in.
When COVID-19 hit, the university team at ASML was determined to keep their program of 100+ nationwide interns running this summer. Their program was a major success with hiring managers translating previous hands-on engineering projects into virtual ones. The team also put together two Professional Development series for their interns. One series focused mainly on individual professional development such as resume writing, interview practice, and more, while the second series offered interns an in-depth look across the company. This second series was a unique virtual experience that exposed students to the day-to-day work of every branch in the company, and also allowed students to hear directly from ASML leaders. In order to foster team bonding, the university scheduled fun events as well such as trivia nights and coffee chats! Despite the unprecedented situation, the university team at ASML pulled of a professionally fulfilling program that left interns with real-world experience.
The 29 interns at Arnold + Havas Media had their summer program absolutely packed with development opportunities. The company managed to jam over 15 informational sessions on everything from marketing analytics to ad operations to social media into just four weeks, to go along with resume building advice from the recruitment team. Each intern was also paired with a mentor from whom they received one-on-one feedback and advice for starting their careers, and were made to feel part of the team with open invites to events such as Fitness Fridays, happy hours featuring live music, and an annual “Guac-Off” for National Avocado Day. The organization also ensured that networking opportunities didn’t end with the internship: they created an Intern Alumni Group on LinkedIn for students to keep in touch with one another and their connections at the company.
Despite being one of the largest companies in the world, AT&T found ways to make their interns feel valued on a personal level. Interns were directly involved in projects with real-world applications, such as using 3D printers to donate face shields to innovating remote learning solutions. The company also organized a number of social events—like a movie night where each intern was sent a gift basket beforehand and intern lunches—to connect students across different locations and divisions of the company. Beyond professional opportunities such as joining engagement circles and mentorship, AT&T created an online university for interns to take courses in whatever interested them and gain practical skills for their future careers.
While some company’s leadership may have seen COVID-19 as a roadblock to their internship programs, NYC-based Bohler Engineering decided to “flip the script” and make their program even more impactful virtually. The elimination of geographical restrictions allowed for increased interaction between interns and senior leadership, who engaged in live virtual technical and professional development training. Interns were also paired with an office “buddy” who they met with on a 1 on 1 basis to build connections with their local teams. Although COVID-19 presented challenges, Bohler Engineering adapted, creating a program that allowed interns to create meaningful and lasting relationships with the Bohler Engineering team.
Software company Bottomline Technologies went above and beyond to recreate the communal environment of their Portsmouth, New Hampshire office over the internet, even before interns officially started. It hosted a pre-day one Q&A session and meet up, and put together a resource guide with biographies, pictures, and schedules for the entire intern class, so they could better communicate. The first week of the program was dubbed “spirit week,” where the interns could get to know one another as well as others in the company, and throughout their time at Bottomline, different intern cohorts led weekly team-building exercises. The company even sent their interns a Portsmouth-inspired postcard halfway through the program. Bottomline didn’t just stand out for its emphasis on a positive working environment, however, but for providing interns concrete opportunities to grow their skills and knowledge with expanded mentorship opportunities, innovation challenges, a speaker series, and workshops that covered topics like UI/UX design, mobile development, and data science.
Transitioning more than 200 new workers to a cloud-based computer environment virtually overnight is no small task, especially when your work involves analyzing lab samples and building cybersecurity systems. It might have been easier to take the lead from other companies and scrap summer internships, but to Bristol Myers Squibb, cancelling was not an option. Instead, the biopharmaceutical company went above and beyond to make sure that interns received the benefits of in-person connection remotely. It instituted formalized networking opportunities like virtual coffee breaks, as well as new adds to its curriculum such as a Women of Color in STEM speaker series, Skills2Give skills-based volunteering, LinkedIn and Yammer networking groups. Perhaps the most valuable effort, however, was the mentorship program, where each student was paired with a company employee from a different department to meet with regularly and gain advice.
Faced with an unprecedented summer, Capital One’s Campus Team still committed themselves to immersing their interns in company culture and valuable experience. During their 10 week program, interns were given the opportunity to speak directly with senior management, enjoy coffee chats with employees from different lines-of-business, and partake in fun events like capture the flag and escape rooms. Diversity in tech also remained a focus, exemplified in their 2-week Tech Mini-Mester, which included 60 of the top HBCU and HSI STEM students from across the country. Interns had the opportunity to dig deep into new technologies, interactive exercises, and discussions with executive leaders. Through both programs jam-packed with valuable experiences, students were provided an awesome opportunity to empower themselves and build out their networks.
This year, Cisco was named the number one large workplace for millenials, with 98 percent of employees happy to work there. Interns are no exception. They praise the company for its positive environment which fosters growth and the willingness of just about anyone to meet with them to talk about career development, either during an special intern speaker series, virtual one-on-ones, or WebEx spaces on different topics. Interns were thrown directly into hands-on learning opportunities, such as shadowing employees as well designing and leading projects that will be directly implemented in the upcoming year. The company also made sure that interns didn’t miss out on opportunities they would normally have in person; they hosted WebEx yoga classes, open mic nights, and even lip syncing competitions.
It’s easy to see why the finance company was named the top internship program of 2020 by WayUp. First off, its 2020 class was one of the most diverse in the country, consisting of half women and over a quarter Black and Latinx students. The company also awarded scholarships to students from diverse backgrounds to help them pay for college after graduation, and ran an Early Career feeder program and a variety of campuses, including HBCUs. Most importantly, however, analysts in many major offices who met minimum requirements were offered a full-time job, something far more valuable than company swag or coffee sessions when most companies are laying off or furloughing employees.
This summer, the University Relations and Talent Development Team at CSL Behring welcomed 12 co-ops and 50 interns virtually. Tasked with bringing their traditional program online, the team spared no effort in delivering a valuable experience. They were contributing members of several departments, including Business Technology, Research and Development, Commercial Operations and Quality and Business Services. Outside of fulfilling day-to-day work, the strength of this program was highlighted in their robust programming during National Intern Week. This included a virtual scavenger hunt, a diversity workshop, and a T-Shirt Design Contest.
Internships at telecommunications company CommScope took on a particularly important role during the COVID-19 crisis: Not only were students working remotely, but were helping others do so as well. They assisted the organization in its mission to develop and implement creative solutions to expand 5G and broadband internet networks that played a crucial role in things like virtual education. Not only did interns get a great learning experience, but a fantastic culture. Students praised the company for an environment that treats workers like family and made an effort to include them in every part of the business. In addition to an executive speaker series featuring higher-ups like Chairman of the Board and Founder Frank Drendel, interns were given access to mentorship opportunities and had the chance to lead projects and be active participants in meetings.
From the beginning of its 10-week program, CVS Health worked to ensure that interns would have ample opportunities for growth. The first week included virtual office hours by the University Relations department to answer any questions as well as online orientation sessions. Throughout the program, interns were given the chance to make connections with both other interns and senior management, including through a speaker series with people like CEO Larry J. Merlo and daily Walk-and-Talks, where groups of interns and full-time colleagues were encouraged to get away from their desks and chat about whatever was on their minds. The company also set up weekly think thanks, where interns from across different programs were grouped together to respond to a different challenge, promoting innovation and collaboration. Interns say the projects they worked on, from data visualization to improving the customer experiences, felt not only beneficial to the company, but to their own career growth.
Even though they only had three weeks to flip its six- week internship program entirely virtual, the University Recruiting team at Dick’s managed to find creative ways to get their interns out from behind their screens. On their second day, all 62 interns were sent on a COVID-safe mission to a local DICK’s store to learn interactive tasks, such as completing a curbside contactless order, finding merchandise for a ship from store order, and talking to employees. Once back in their home offices, interns were thrown head-first into projects that impacted daily business operations, from creating code to re-strategizing merchandise for a post-COVID world.
When geographic information systems company Esri decided to make its internship program virtual, its leaders knew that upping communication would be the key to success. So before students started, it hosted webinars to provide its 75 interns with general information about the program as well as practical advice for navigating their new virtual worlds, from how to set up a home office to how to network online. In order to ensure that interns were receiving the one-on-one mentorship they hoped for, the company then set up daily events with workshops around different themes. Mondays were for professional development (emotional intelligence, career pathing, resumé critique); Tuesdays, tech (machine learning, artificial intelligence). On Wednesdays, a different company leader, including president Jack Dangermond, spoke about Esri’s culture. Thursdays were a casual networking lunch with other interns, while Fridays were reserved for team building activities like pictionary and a Star Wars-themed escape room. In addition, students had access to one-on-one conversations with recruiters where they could seek advice about their career path and next steps, regardless of whether they were interested in staying with Esri.
Estée Lauder’s 157 interns had their own catchphrase this summer: no office, no problem. Despite being scattered across over 25 brands and 63 different universities, interns found a way to grow and work from home “apart but together.” From marketing to research and development, the beauty company offered something for just about everyone. Some interns created communications strategies for major brands; others worked with chemists to develop new products; others helped the company manage its real estate. In addition to their work supporting teams across the company and tackling exciting projects, the internship program was filled with I&D learnings, workshops, and an exciting senior speaker series called ‘Education Days,’ where interns heard from senior leaders and gained exposure to different brands and roles within the company. When the end of the program wrapped up, interns shared their experiences on LinkedIn, praising Estée Lauder for putting on such an incredible program despite challenging external circumstances.
Software company Exelaration was recently named the number three technology internship in the U.S., a distinction it was determined not to lose once it was forced to move its program online. The company sought to recreate the office experience for interns using both tried-and-true techniques (such as pairing each intern with a senior mentor) and new technologies (such as the Live Share feature of Visual Studio to replicate the experience of a manager pointing over an intern’s at a computer screen). To make sure that interns were getting the support they needed, the company created a Slack channel specifically allow managers to check in on interns each morning, and implemented a “30-minute-rule,” where if a student was stuck on something for 30 minutes, they would be required to reach out to a member of their team for help. These techniques were meant to mimic in-office experiences of mentors walking over to an intern’s desk to check in on a project and having a morning coffee to talk about the day ahead.
Ford’s summer intern program gives hundreds of college students the opportunity to grow professionally as engineers, business managers, designers, and more. Though the program was remote this summer, Ford gave interns the same access to professional growth, providing hands-on learning opportunities in everything from developing batteries for electric vehicles to IT solutions. For one part of the program, however, Ford had to think outside the box to make it work remotely. Part of the Ford internship program is the chance for students to get involved in their local community through its Volunteer Corps, but when in-person volunteering became impossible this summer, Ford got creative in setting interns up with virtual opportunities. Each week for four weeks, interns could choose to partake in a different activity to give back, such as volunteering as City of Detroit phone bank operators for the 2020 census, or assembling kits with essential items such as hand sanitizer for those in need during COVID-19. Those who completed all four projects were given gift cards to donate to the nonprofit of their choice. Between the access to learning opportunities and giving back to the community, Ford interns experienced a meaningful summer regardless of their location.
This Illinois-based insurance company has plenty of experience running internships—2020 marked its 55th year. Still, this year was probably the most unique in the history of the program, as it was moved entirely online. But that didn’t stop Gallagher from pulling off a program that made WayUp’s Top 100 Internship List. Like previous years, interns worked directly with managers and mentors devoted to their development on deep-dive projects into the insurance industry, a testament to Gallagher’s “learning by doing” approach. They also participated in the annual national intern sales challenge, where they competed against their colleagues from Honolulu to Boston. The finalists had an opportunity to present their project to CEO Pat Gallagher, topping off a summer filled great career development opportunities.
Open your pantry, and you’re almost guaranteed to see a General Mills product. With over 100 brands under its umbrella, the company is responsible for the food we know and love, from Cheerios to Gushers and Annie’s to Old El Paso. This past summer, 136 remote interns from more than 40 schools had the opportunity to immerse themselves in these and many more iconic brands, working in departments like supply chain & finance, marketing, sales, human resources, research & development, and tech, working on exciting projects with real business impact. General Mills’ tech & solution interns even reflected on their summer internship in a video, sharing their experience working on technical projects from data analytics to e-commerce to cybersecurity, learning new skills and technologies along the way. In addition to gaining real-world experience, interns were able to forge meaningful connections with senior leaders through virtual networking events and a leadership speaker series. Interns also had the chance to give back to their communities by decorating snack packs to donate to local food banks and shelters, part of General Mills’ larger commitment to being a force for good and combating social inequities. With so many interns sharing their positive experiences this summer, it’s clear General Mills pulled off an amazing program. Interested in joining them next summer? They’ve already posted internship openings here.
While welcoming more than 500 interns online this summer, GM wanted to make sure students felt as included in company culture as if they were in the physical office. In order to achieve this, GM increased touchpoints with students by making sure to check in every two weeks to get personal updates from every student. They used GM TV to immerse students with real time company updates via blog, video and live broadcasts. Their campus team also hosted a virtual event, EXECELerate, specifically for interns during their annual development summit. GM interns this summer left with not only the experience of their roles, but a strong sense of the company culture.
From vaccines to toothpaste, this global healthcare company has a hand in almost every aspect of the health industry. This gave summer interns the opportunity to work across a variety of brands and projects—from helping devise marketing strategies to help people quit smoking with Nicorette, to developing a digital education program for digestive health with TUMS, to developing a new advocacy program for Flonase. Despite their diverse experiences across different brands, interns say that their experiences all had a common thread: the ability to truly own a project, to be deeply immersed in brand marketing, and a supportive company culture, from managers to executives. Beyond the professional focus of their internship, interns also had the chance to form close bonds, participating in fun activities like virtual trivia and game nights.
This summer HP onboarded over 200 interns on its very first virtual internship program. The HP University Hiring team approached this summer’s program optimistically and saw an opportunity to reinvent the way we all work by building a foundation for future workplaces. With this in mind, the team made sure professional development and networking were top priority in the internship program. Interns were able to engage with top HP executives including their Chief Human Resources Officer and President of Personal Systems. By making strong open communication a key component to their virtual internship strategy, HP helped students make strong and lasting connections throughout the company.
One of the downsides of a remote internship is that interns don’t get to experience and enjoy a new city. So IMC, a Chicago-based trading firm, wanted to ensure that their interns were still able to experience the city they would have called home that summer. The company sent each of its 50 interns Oculus Quest virtual reality headsets and ‘Wander’, an application that allows users to experience the magic of travel. They created a virtual tour of Chicago with employees discussing their favorite spots, taking interns on a tour of their neighborhood in a video series of “Doortraits.” It also arranged a listening party featuring local musicians, and even held a happy hour with a former Chicago Bears player. On top of getting to experience local life, interns had a fulfilling summer filled with professional development. In addition to their work, interns were matched with mentors, attended chat series with senior employees to discuss their experiences, and had access to organized networking opportunities. Interns also had the opportunity to give back to the community by participating in a social impact pitch competition where they selected a non-profit and made the case for why it should receive a grant from the company’s charitable foundation.
When the financial software company behind products like Mint, Quickbooks, and TurboTax decided to make its internship remote, they had students working from as close as the San Francisco Bay Area (the same location as the company’s headquarters) to Nairobi, Kenya. But, despite the mileage, they found a way to make their interns feel connected. The concept started from day one, with a Town Hall-style meeting run by CEO Sasan Goodarzi where interns gained first-hand insight into the company’s vision and strategy. Interns also participated in weekly virtual team meetings with coworkers scattered across different offices, an experience that an in-person internship based in a single office would not have provided, as well as Zoom happy hours, games, and cooking classes. The internship wrapped with a two-day-long virtual intern summit, which featured Q&A sessions with senior leaders, breakout sessions, and even a game show.
This summer Kohl’s Early Talent Team excitedly rolled out their first virtual internship program to 280 corporate interns. When organizing this new virtual experience, it was important to the team to design an experience that really captured the full #LifeAtKohls experience. The Early Talent team not only hosted a virtual tour of Kohl’s corporate offices but even put together strong professional development activities with their Executive Speaker Series, exposure to Kohl’s Business Resource Groups, and by offering courses to interns. Alongside these more professional activities, the team made sure to also add in some fun ones like virtual yoga sessions and zoom trivia nights. The Early Talent Team’s hard work ensured that 2020 summer interns had the full Kohl’s experience.
Lincoln interns agree that what made their virtual experience special this summer was the people. Beyond the Executive Speaker Series, where leaders talked about their career paths and how to be successful in the workplace, mentors worked on a daily basis to help interns develop in their careers. For example, one manager scheduled time each day to help his intern learn insurance-based software, others were more than willing to schedule virtual chats with interns to talk about their career experience, regardless of their department. Lincoln also had a job shadowing program for students to learn about different roles within the company by virtually following an employee in their duties. Overall, interns found their colleagues, from their fellow interns to executives, transparent, accessible, and willing to go out of their way to help them grow.
You might know cybersecurity corporation McAfee from those alerts that pop up on your computer warning you of hackers – but interns know it as an incredible place to work. Rather than give interns grunt work, McAfee treated them like full-fledged members of the team — allowing them not only to make significant impacts on projects, but take the lead. Interns praise the work environment as supportive and inclusive, and shared that the company genuinely invested in their growth with things like regular constructive feedback, workshops, and seminars. The company also went above and beyond to make the interns feel like part of the family, with activities like coffee with CEO Peter Leav, a virtual escape room, and happy hours and picnics over Microsoft Teams.
The Iowa-based insurance company welcomed an intimate class of four virtual interns across three different departments: information technology, commercial surety, and claims and compliance. Beyond hands-on experience in their chosen field, interns had the rare opportunity to learn soft skills to prepare them for life in the “real world” after graduation through a series of virtual events. Through panel discussions with recently-hired Merchant employees, interns learned how to manage their time, negotiate salaries, and understand benefits packages. In addition, they were invited to attend the YURtern West Des Moines College Internship Virtual Lunch ‘n Learn panel, where speakers from various companies, including Merchants, talked about how to navigate first jobs out of college. To further jump-start their post-school careers, Merchants awarded $5,000 scholarships to three of its interns.
For a pharmaceutical company focused on lab work, transitioning most of its 550 interns to a remote environment is no easy task. Yet, Merck managed to exceed expectations. Rather than running reactions in the lab, engineering and science students created their own podcasts and public information videos, and worked on Blockchain technology. They also managed to get their names on manuscripts and co-write research papers, as well as practicing “soft” skills such as presentation and data analysis that will greatly aid them in future scientific endeavors. To help students stay connected across departments, the company implemented an intern speaker series as well as one-on-one networking opportunities.
When preparing to welcome 85 interns in this new virtual environment, MongoDB’s campus team made sure that managers and mentors were well-equipped to handle the transition by providing training focused around biases specific to remote work. Their team even made sure to set up an AMA (ask me anything) approach with incoming students to make sure everyone knew what to expect before the start of the program. Once the program began, MongoDB’s team kept the relationships between interns and mentors a priority throughout the internship by assigning different types of mentors. There was the technical mentor, who evaluates an intern’s work; the campus recruiting manager mentor, who helps guide interns through their time at MongoDB; and the affinity group mentor, who are employees who don’t normally work within that intern’s workflow. MongoDB’s awesome planning and dedicated team created a welcoming and supportive environment this summer, which was clear to see in this awesome TikTok featuring MongoDB’s interns, created for National Intern Day.
This summer National Grid, virtually welcomed 174 interns. The Campus to Career team mailed each student a laptop and a National Grid t-shirt to properly equip them for the work ahead. As well as work virtually hands-on with managers on projects, this year interns were given the opportunity to support their local communities through the new Gridterns Give Back program. The interns volunteered over 3000 hours at organizations like Northeastern Food Bank, North American Health Service Alliance, Tift Nature Preserve, Meals on Wheels, Atlantic Outreach Group, and more. This program allowed interns to have a meaningful experience helping others struggling during COVID-19. National Grid’s university team created a deeply impactful program that these students are sure to never forget!
Out of the companies on this list, perhaps only NBC can claim that it made its interns famous—to celebrate national intern day, interns were featured on the Today Show. Whether it was working to promote some of the company’s most popular shows or writing pilot episodes for a new podcast, NBC interns felt that their opinions were valued and considered at all times. In addition to career development opportunities, interns had fun chances to feel a part of the team, from designing their own badges (even though they worked from home and not on NBC’s campus), to a fun surprise drop in from Seth Meyers during a team meeting.
NVIDIA hosted more than 800 students from over 100 universities around the world in their first virtual internship program. To make the experience as special as possible, NVIDIA offered fun team bonding experiences like virtual games shows, cook-along events, book clubs and more. Interns also were mailed swag bags that included an intern company sweatshirt and an NVIDIA SHIELD TV! Besides entertaining events, interns at NVIDIA were given hands-on experience by leading projects to be presented at NVIDIA’s annual GPU Technology Conference. These project topics ranged from display technology to computer vision to machine learning and more. With this jam-packed schedule, it’s clear students had a great summer at NVIDIA full of strong professional development opportunities and fun.
Fleet management software company Omnitracs nabbed WayUp’s award for best virtual internship this year. While it made many of the same efforts as other companies on this list, such as virtual game nights and a Lunch and Learn series, what set it apart was the meaningful relationships it fostered between interns and executives. Instead of just interacting with top brass during a speaker series or Q&A sessions, many interns reported directly to VPs, and all received feedback directly from the CEO on their last day. They also received leadership training directly from VP and GM Michal Yariv.
Palo Alto Network’s 2020 interns praise the cybersecurity firm for its seamless transition to a virtual environment. Many interns shared that they felt truly included in Palo Alto Network’s culture even with the remote setting, and left their internship with new skills and impactful experiences with cutting-edge technologies. Palo Alto Network’s efforts began before the internship did, with a pre-internship teambuilding event where students completed fun challenges—such as making origami sunglasses— to introduce interns to the company’s values of teamwork and innovation. Additionally, the interns were given hands-on learning opportunities throughout the summer both in practical tech skills (such as machine learning and Python), as well as development through structured workshops on topics covering everything from building a personal brand to social engineering.
While most companies have recruiters and human resources departments to oversee summer internship programs, Paypal has an entire University Experience team devoted to making sure that interns make the most of their 12-week program. Instead of entirely cancelling their packed calendar of in-person social and networking events, the University Experience organizers worked to create the same experience virtually, with seminars from top executives (including one-on-one conversations with CTO Sri Shivananda), and an online intern conference where students were able to connect with one another and share their final projects with the entire company. Additionally, Paypal interns were directly involved in projects that kept small businesses running during the pandemic, including creating a more efficient portal for the PayPal Business Loan, and participating in the Kivathon, Paypal’s partnership with the microlending nonprofit Kiva to help raise funds for businesses in rural areas without access to banks.
This summer, PepsiCo interns across departments put their skills together to work on projects with the potential for long-lasting change in the company. At the start of the six-week program, students were tasked with an Intern Challenge competition where teams worked on projects based around different themes relevant to the times, from driving sales during COVID-19 to how to work more effectively at home, which they later presented to executive leadership. They were also split into teams of six, run by “coaches,” to work on strategies for improving the company’s Food for Good initiative, which provides healthy meals to underserved communities. Being a PepsiCo intern also came with certain perks, including company “swag” – aka snack boxes full of some of the world’s most popular treats.
While hosting nearly 600 summer interns, P&G placed an emphasis on the relationship between interns and acting managers. The P&G North American Talent Acquisition leadership team built a manager toolkit to help prepare workers for how to manage remote employees. The team also put all the acting managers into an online Virtual Internship Think Tank and encouraged them to brainstorm together on new ways to connect interns and mentors: virtual ‘meet & greets’, group training, leadership connects, and more. P&G also made sure interns felt connected to their fellow interns by providing opportunities for community building online. One of those events was a virtual welcome breakfast, where P&G sent breakfast to the interns’ homes and brought everyone onto a video conference. With P&G’s emphasis on networking and community, students this summer had an awesome opportunity to build strong and lasting relationships for future growth.
Raytheon believes that a strong internship program will result in a high intern retention rate. The defense company provides an early career start for some students, with recent high school graduates given the opportunity to try their hand at problem solving with Raytheon teams. Many of these students return summer after summer, applying the technical skills they learned at school to real-world problems. Interns this year were also able to take advantage of the virtual program and attend events hosted by company leaders such as CEO Greg Hayes. As this intern season wraps, Raytheon can expect to welcome returning students for years to come as the program truly invests in student growth and challenges interns to utilize the skills they learn in school.
RetailMeNot was able to quickly pivot to a virtual-only program while providing an intimate experience for interns. For example, Friday afternoon happy hours weren’t just a chance for interns to socialize with each other, but with mentors and team leaders. In addition to casual get-togethers, RetailMeNot upped the frequency of more organized team-building events, such as an office olympics and murder-mystery games. The company’s smaller size benefitted interns in a professional sense as well. During speaker events with leadership, interns were highly encouraged to ask questions and to give their opinions on complicated topics. They were also given real projects, writing code that shipped to production and taking on new technical challenges with the support of RetailMeNot’s high-caliber engineering team.
Interns at Robinhood this summer had the opportunity to do ‘hands-on work’ remotely. Students contributed to real projects such as migrating existing fraud detection rules, designing a recurring deposits model, and creating a load detection library to help prevent any degraded user experience. Besides these very cool projects, Robinhood also made sure to offer interns the opportunity to be immersed in company culture by hosting fun events like virtual scavenger hunts, virtual escape rooms, and online cooking sessions. With all of these activities, it’s clear the university team at Robinhood was truly successful in crafting a standout virtual internship experience.
For Salesforce, implementing a virtual internship meant fostering an online community. The Futureforce team recognized that while managers and teams could work online, it was up to them to make interns feel the Ohana spirit. Mentorship programs, talent development courses, and virtual events gave students the opportunity to make connections and build relationships with Salesforce employees all while out of the office. Interns were able to learn about different parts of the organization, hear from company leaders, and were truly adopted into the Ohana this summer. While interns may not have had the chance to meet each other, and their team, in person, they were able to grow personally and professionally this summer.
SAP was named WayUp’s top US internship program in 2019, and they delivered a standout internship experience for their 200+ remote interns this summer, too. Managers were provided with training on how to help interns adapt to a fully virtual environment, including sending interns a team organization chart with pictures of their Philadelphia office layout. While interns were given the autonomy to work independently, they also had regular check-ins with supervisors, and collaborated consistently on projects. For example, interns worked together in story learning sessions where they solved real-world business problems for SAP’s customers and participated in an Intern Olympics. In addition, interns had access to robust professional development opportunities, including a chance to attend a speaker series using virtual whiteboards from some of the company’s top executives. Globally, interns had the opportunity to participate in online volunteer opportunities as part of the company’s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility, including a hackathon centered around making the internet more accessible to the visually impared and creating a digital donation platform for a local hospital.
The 100+ intern force at software company Splunk—or Splunkterns, as they’re called—each got to work on projects that could have tangible real-world impact. For example, one intern used Splunk’s technology to help keep trains in Australia running on time; another analyzed election data to look at trends between voter suppression and race during a Splunk for Splunkterns competition where interns were challenged to use Splunk for COVID-19 and social justice. Senior leaders also set aside time for coffee chats with interns, an E-Staff speaker series, and Special Topics talks where they spoke about softs skills such as time management.
Interns praise SurveyMonkey for its culture of inclusivity, transparency, and mentorship that runs through the company from the very top, down. That includes direct access for interns to the executive team: CEO Zander Lurie encourages students to message him on Slack to chat. This summer, the organization’s 42 interns got to both experience and contribute to that culture through weekly one-on-one check-ins with managers and mentors to receive feedback and tips on development, as well as a hackathon focused on social responsibility, where the top project implemented inclusive language into company surveys. Additionally, interns have the chance to shadow any employee twice throughout the summer to experience firsthand how other teams function.
Finance company TD had its 58 interns go through what it calls its Aspiring Talent Academy, focused on seven different aspects acronymed as CAREERS: Collaboration, Academic, Real-World Experience, Education, Roundtables, and Shadowing. Among its many components, the Academy allowed interns paid time to study for their FINRA Security Industry Essentials exam, the first step in becoming a licensed securities representative. They also had the chance to communicate with customers directly on service calls and create their own capstone projects. One thing not represented by the acronym but was still a vital part of the program was fun, including group workouts, videos from full-time employees giving virtual tours of their work from home setups, and a National Intern Day celebration featuring trivia from The Office.
Most people will know Texas Instruments from the calculators in their high school math classes. But, it is actually a Fortune 500 technology company, with its semiconductors in thousands of products worldwide. To enhance the remote experience for its interns, each department at Texas Instruments created a virtual development program to offer interns mentorship and career opportunities to match their specific interests, as well as engage socially outside of work. Some departments got creative—for example, the manufacturing group had a virtual campfire chat, complete with a s’mores kit mailed to each intern pre-meeting, while the HR intern team sent a cookie care package to congratulate interns at the end of the program. Beyond encouragement, Texas Instruments also offered the same development opportunities to interns that it does to full-time employees, such as interactive information sessions with employees from across departments and the chance to take supplementary courses through Harvard ManageMentor and LinkedIn learning.
Travelers has a reputation for diversity in its workforce – which also extends to its internships. This summer, the company had 400 interns from colleges across the U.S., including students from Boston, Bangladesh and Vietnam. Interns praise the company for its corporate policies and commitment to taking care of its employees, providing opportunities to network, discover mentorships and volunteer, as well as assigning interns to projects that aren’t just busy work, but directly impact the bottom line. Interns had the chance to sharpen their business acumen while learning skills in areas such as data visualizations and engineering while networking with both professionals within Travelers and clients. Some second-year interns even said that the company handled the online transition so efficiently that being virtual versus in person made little difference in their overall internship experience.
UnitedHealth Group and their family of businesses, UnitedHealth Care & Optum, managed to coordinate more than 850 virtual internships from over a dozen departments, across the nation. Even during these unprecedented times, interns still showed up every day ready to do the work, that left them with skills and certifications to carry them into the workforce. Some interns helped investigate providers flagged for fraud, while others became licensed insurance agents or learned the ins & outs of sales and account management. Regardless of their responsibilities, interns had the opportunity to work on meaningful projects that will help shape the future of the healthcare industry. Interns also had the chance to collaborate with their peers and present a final project to corporate senior leaders at the end of their internship, providing a challenging and engaging experience that offered the chance for real career development. With all this considered, it’s no surprise that the strength of this program landed UnitedHealth Group a first-time spot on WayUp’s Top 100 Internship Programs of 2020.
This summer Verizon welcomed 450 students into their first virtual internship program. While a virtual setting can be a challenge, Verizon saw the new environment as an opportunity. The program started with personalized welcome video messages from senior leaders, which helped immediately immerse the interns into the company culture. Afterwards, each student was assigned a Crew Leader to serve as a mentor, buddy and support system through the internship. Interns from different departments also had their own unique experiences. Verizon’s Global Tech Solutions interns worked on complex, hi-tech projects, including machine learning, python scripting, and automation, completely remotely. Not only did interns improve on their technical skills, but were given opportunities to develop “soft skills” such as communication and leadership. In addition, Verizon Connect, a section of the company that works on GPS fleet management, was determined to replicate their collaborative, open-office environment virtually for its 15 remote interns. To this end, the company held online networking events, coffee breaks, quiz nights, innovation workshops, and knowledge sharing events on topics like AI and mobile app development.
Congratulations to all of these companies for investing in future talent and putting on a great summer program!