Interns Help People Get Jobs

At Indeed, an internship isn’t just a summer job, it’s a full-time experience. We immerse interns into our world of software engineering. Interns experience an exciting company culture and explore all that Austin has to offer. More importantly, we provide challenging projects that allow interns to make their mark at the company (in fact, one of our first interns is now our CTO).

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Indeed interns on a food truck tour at Micklethwait Craft Meats

Our goal is for interns to help people get jobs, have fun, and promote Indeed. To achieve these goals, we start with an engaging, challenging, and well-defined intern project.

Defining an intern project

The choice of project is crucial to a successful internship. We put a lot of effort into defining projects, because we want all our interns to have a successful summer. An ideal intern project is:

Self-contained. If the project depends too much on other projects, those dependencies could slow down the intern’s progress.

Well-defined. The intern doesn’t have to wait on requirements and can get to work right away.

Appropriately scoped. The intern should be able to complete the project in three months.

Fun and flexible. The project allows room for the intern’s creativity.

Before interns start on their projects, mentors introduce them to Indeed tools and processes. Each intern deploys a small, contained code change by the end of their first week. When the code goes live, per Indeed tradition, the intern rings a gong and everyone applauds.

After this training, interns dig into the technical challenges of their projects. Mentors provide continuous advice, introductions, and general support.

The art of mentorship

Our software engineers who volunteer to be mentors are passionate about helping others and growing their own skills. Mentoring develops skills that engineers can leverage in their everyday work. Mentors learn the value of investing time to support others. They learn when to help out and when to take a step back. And they learn how to inspire and motivate.

For example, a mentor customizes the phases of a project to fit an intern’s skills and interests. Mentors listen to interns, assess their work, and give them room to be creative. For some engineers, mentorship provides a leadership opportunity that informs their future career decisions.

Location, location, location

Sometimes, the most enlightening part of the internship isn’t the job or the technology. The Indeed internship program provides a realistic view into the work life of a software engineer. For Indeed interns, this life is set in Austin, a city renowned for live music and food trucks. In Austin, you can find roller derby, chamber music, and everything in between.

Indeed’s University Recruiting team organizes events so interns can get to know the city and each other. Past events included a party barge on Lake Travis, a Segway tour downtown, and go-kart racing. Interns work hard on their projects, and Indeed works hard to make their summer a blast.

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Intern Segway tour of downtown Austin

Case study: One intern’s success story

Tom Werner (University of Iowa) interned at Indeed during the summer of 2015. His project involved building new features that employers could use during the hiring process — features that let employers view interviewer metrics and check interviewer availability.

This project was challenging in several ways. First, Tom was new to the world of front-end web development, but his project required creating an intuitive and simple webapp. Additionally, Tom collaborated with another team to gain access to interviewer data. Finally, he needed to ensure each employer could only access their own data. Implementing this access control required testing and fixing the existing data segmentation infrastructure.

Tom was quick to accept these challenges. As a self-directed and fast learner, he completed the core goals of this project in half of the scheduled time.

Now what?

Tom then had over a month to work on other useful features, based on his interests. He addressed security concerns, and he created admin features for the webapp. Specifically, Tom developed an access control list interface for user permissions. This interface allows designated employer admins to manage their own user permissions. Without this feature, employers would have to contact Indeed to make permission changes.

Tom also improved the interface employers use to manage information about their interview funnel. He added more filtering and configuration options, including creating, editing, and copying funnels. Tom’s work improved usability for employers as well as internal Indeed users.

Demo time

Because of Tom’s excellent work, his mentor asked him to demo his project to a large internal group that included the broader product team, recruiters, and executives. Everyone was impressed by Tom’s contributions to the product.

No limits on success

Tom’s talent and dedication made his internship a great success. Indeed gave him opportunities to showcase his abilities, and he went beyond our expectations. Tom delivered on business needs while bringing his own creativity to the project, a balance to which we always aspire.

Everybody wins

Tom was just one of 27 Austin interns in 2015 who helped Indeed achieve our goals. Another Indeed intern developed a webapp to display international marketing metrics. Xingtong Zhou (University of Michigan), who is now a full-time employee, created the webapp to help marketing analysts identify countries where we need to adjust our marketing investment. With better international data, we are able to make smarter investments in international growth.

Interns bring a fresh perspective that inspires innovation in our products and technologies. They contribute to the vibrancy and energy of our work environment. They return to school and share their experiences, helping us build a great campus reputation and attract the best full-time talent.

The ultimate goal of our internships, however, is to gain full-time Indeed employees. An internship is a lot like a three-month-long job interview, giving interns the unique opportunity to showcase all their skills. And we have the opportunity to give interns a glimpse into just how exciting it can be to work at Indeed. When interns return to Indeed as full-time employees, they have the added benefit of starting a job they already know is the right fit.

The bottom line: when interns have a great experience, Indeed thrives. If you’re interested in an internship at Indeed, please email university-tech-recruiting@indeed.com.

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