November 16 by Sara Sparhawk
Have you ever ran into a situation where you’re applying for jobs, but come to the realization that you have zero relevant work experience?
Nowadays, most jobs require at least a year or two of experience in order to be a qualified candidate (and this includes entry level positions too). This limits the scope of opportunities that recent grads may have when coming straight out of college. It is also difficult to gain work experience when you’ve been going to class, doing your homework, and staying up late studying for finals.
For students to avoid a rude awakening after graduation, (when months go by and they’re still unemployed, wondering what’s gone wrong considering that they own a college degree) they need to put a conscious effort into gaining experience relevant to their desired profession.
For any college student, receiving relevant work experience is vital for the future success of their career. Group projects, class assignments and exams do a great job of prepping students for the real-world, but there is still nothing more beneficial than being in the work force and collaborating on things with actual professionals in the field. For students, being in a work environment for their desired profession is essential and can tremendously help their professional growth.
One of the best ways to earn relevant work experience in the early stages of a student’s career is to get an internship. An internship enables individuals to be exposed to real projects and allows them to deal with the day-to-day tasks and responsibilities that come with a full-time job.
Internships play a critical role in helping college students
secure their ultimate dream job. Here at Apttus, our interns
experience a realistic preview of what a full-time career will look like. Our interns have opportunities to make an immediate impact on their team, our products, and ultimately our customers.
This past Summer, 20+ college students from around the world, joined us at our headquarters in San Mateo, CA to experience what life is like working at a fast-paced, technology company in Silicon Valley. We sat down with two of our interns, Lucy Zhang and Adrian Prophet, to ask them about their internship experience:
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Lucy Zhang: I’m a rising Junior at UC Berkeley, but grew up in Minnesota. I’m studying Computer Science and Cognitive Science and I am the chapter Treasurer for my sorority. I also have a broad range of volunteer experience, some of which include Mayo Clinic, Paws and Claws Humane Society, and Habitat for Humanities.
Adrian Prophet: My name is Adrian Prophet. I am 20 years old, studying Computer Science at Columbia University. This is my 2nd summer interning for Apttus. I like music, drawing, and cars.
2. What brought you to Apttus?
Lucy Zhang: I wanted to gain real work experience, but more specifically, I knew coming into this internship that Salesforce would be a key component in my experience, which alone can open up so many doors in the future.
Adrian Prophet: I was looking for a tech oriented job where my work would feel meaningful, and also somewhere close to home. My dad actually found out about Apttus, and I was able to get a phone interview last summer, which ultimately led
to my internship both this and last summer.
3. What do you do here and what do your day-to-day tasks consist of?
Lucy Zhang: At Apttus, I work in the Professional Services department in which I work within Salesforce to configure products based on client’s requirements. As for my day-to-day tasks, I helped gather client requirements so our team can turn them into deliverables.
Adrian Prophet: I am an intern for the Engineering department. My day-to-day tasks range from writing code, testing others’ code, debugging various problems, working on user interfaces, and more.
4. What is the most memorable moment that you’ve had during your internship?
Lucy Zhang: Choosing the most memorable moment here is pretty difficult. I can honestly say that this past summer has been one of the best summers I’ve had because of Apttus. I’ve met a great group a people who made this internship what it was, and I couldn’t be more thankful for them. But I think one moment that really stuck out was when my team joked about how they weren’t going to be able to continue with our collaborated project without me. I felt like I really had an impact on this team and really made something out of my internship.
Adrian Prophet: Finishing my main project for the summer and seeing it integrated was very rewarding. It was nice seeing my work pay off, but also be used in a practical application.
5. What is the biggest takeaway you’ve learned that you would share with other young professionals starting off their career?
Lucy Zhang: The biggest takeaway I’ve learned was that it’s okay to make mistakes! It’s important to admit that you’ve done something wrong because not only are you being transparent with your teammates with where you are in the learning process, but also you’ll know what to do next time when a similar situation comes up. And when you do make mistakes, don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re still confused. It’s really, really important to understand what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
Adrian Prophet: My biggest takeaway is definitely office communication skills. Don’t be afraid to ask questions- don’t be afraid of sounding stupid. I work next to a software engineer named Eric. Eric said he spent a whole day trying to install some software. He told me it’d be a big waste of both our time if I spent a whole day messing around with the same thing. Eric’s point being that fear of asking for help would actually cost more time than just reaching out. People are happy to help and explain.