As I write this blog from my at-home office, I want to describe for you a virtual experience like no previous NetApp program: the Summer 2020 NetApp Virtual Internship. For all interns in the past, their program took place in designated offices around the globe. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 10 to 12 week learning experience has seen a massive change. It’s quite a challenge for my peers and me to navigate our full-time internships during a time when toilet paper can hardly be found. Thankfully, I have been fortunate to take part in an internship program turned virtual, unlike many of my peers who have experienced losses in opportunities resulting from the pandemic. Comparing our circumstances, I find my remote venture particularly advantageous. Here are three ways in which going virtual has benefited me.
The Benefits of NetApp's Virtual Internship
First, as Zoom meetings replace face-to-face interactions, tremendous opportunities are emerging that an in-office program could not provide. One morning I shadowed a sales representative in California, that afternoon I had a collaborative project workshop with an intern in Raleigh/Durham, and then I finished my day with a check-in with my mentor in Colorado. This fluid communication across the nation, with the click of a Zoom invitation, drives my continuous yearning to network and grow as a curious individual. Accessibility to reach out beyond the NetApp U.S. Public Sector team has also exposed me to different departments and roles, diverse career paths, and unparalleled company culture, leading to further self-discovery. My passion for marketing has expanded to new areas, and I’m discovering other evolving interests along the way.
Second, as the weeks fly by, each seemingly faster than the last, my virtually assigned projects are pushing my self-discipline and resilience to new levels. I can’t turn around and ask my cubemate a quick question, strengthening my ability to problem solve before reaching out for help – although I know I always have a team ready to support me around the clock. When the remote environment creates difficulties, my internal motivation has proven stronger to reach my goals, no matter the distance.
Third, the flexibility of this program is very accommodating, yet developmental as well. Setting my daily to-dos to keep myself held accountable is extremely helpful for completing tasks. My organization and time management skills continue to grow too, as time boils down to deadlines and my program wraps up in just a few weeks.
This virtual program at NetApp has been one of the greatest opportunities ever given to me as a passion-driven woman, looking for a fulfilling future career. Having outreach capabilities globally, a self-motivated work environment, and a flexible schedule to leverage as a learning experience are all ways in which I’m thriving during my Summer 2020 NetApp Virtual Internship.