In my recent blog post, What Millennials Want, I mentioned that we are bringing you a special blog series, “Informatica Interns Ideas: 2014.” Today’s post is from Jacob Lauing, a Product Marketing Management Intern located in our Redwood City HQ office. Jacob is a journalism junior at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly). When Jacob is not working at Informatica, you can find him editing news stories and managing a staff full of reporters as Editor in Chief of Mustang News, Cal Poly’s student newspaper.
5 Reasons Every College Student Should Intern at Informatica
As my 12-week internship at Informatica winds down, I’ve had a chance to reflect. My summer on Seaport Boulevard has been a productive one, with quality tech experience under my belt, a handful of industry connections and a ton of new friends.
If you’re reading this, perhaps you’re considering a stint at Informatica. Let me convince you.
It shouldn’t be too difficult.
1) Informatica’s products are essential to modern business
Coming from a non-technical background, I’ll admit that when I applied for this position, I was a little confused as to what Informatica actually did. The term “data integration” didn’t mean a whole lot to me. I figured – given the company’s heavily technical products – they didn’t have much of an impact outside of a niche market.
Boy, was I wrong.
Particularly because I’ve been working with Informatica’s customers, I realized they vary across all industries. From retail to healthcare to athletics, companies of all varietals use data to grow their business, and I’ve come to understand how important Informatica is in that process.
2) No stereotypical “intern” work
No, I never went on coffee runs.
It’s the fear of any intern, that he or she will be subjected to manual labor, acting as every employee’s slave.
That wasn’t the case this summer. From the start, I was put on projects that actually added value to the team. My competitive analysis research was used in an executive level board meeting to help Informatica position its products. My own web page designs will appear on the redesigned Informaticacloud.com. The copy I wrote promoting Informatica’s new release was published on Twitter.
I made a difference, and that’s an invaluable feeling.
3) Informatica is kind of a big deal…
The company just surpassed the $1 billion revenue mark, a major milestone that employees are quick to mention and clearly very proud of.
In the world of SaaS and data integration, Informatica is the top dog. If you’re looking to establish yourself and build a career in tech, it definitely wouldn’t hurt to have Informatica’s name on your resume.
Let’s not forget that most Informatica interns are still in college. We love to socialize and we love to have fun – there was no shortage.
With networking parties, San Francisco Giants games, trips to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and a boat cruise on the Bay, this summer was a blast. I got to meet a ton of other like-minded interns whom I consider friends.
I know we’ll keep in touch.
5) Informatica wants what’s best for you
I can’t speak to this point enough.
Some interns are destined to be software developers, and Informatica gave them the platform to do so. But other interns – me included – are still trying to figure out the whole career thing. Surprisingly, the folks running Informatica’s intern program were just as attentive to my needs.
Bottom line is they want what’s best for you.
Whether that entails a career at Informatica or a job elsewhere, they want to help you find your way. They want you to learn not only about an exciting industry and skillset, but also about yourself.
And that’s what college is all about, right?
In my recent blog post, What Millennials Want, I mentioned that we are bringing you a special blog series, “Informatica Interns Ideas: 2014.” Today’s post, “What Millennials Want – Putting My Potential to Work, at Work!”, comes from Amitha Narayanan, a Technical Writing Documentation Intern located in our Redwood City HQ office. Amitha is pursuing her Masters in Technical Communication at North Carolina State University. When Amitha is not authoring technical content, you can find her outdoors, exploring the city, reading books on park benches, or doing yoga.
Putting my potential to work, at work!
Have you ever had an Aha! moment that changed you forever? If yes, you know what I mean when I say “that feels great.” If no, I pray you do one day. I had two epiphanies this summer.
My mentor entrusted me with the task of creating video tutorials for our users of Big Data Trial Sandbox for Cloudera. The first time I heard the string of words, it was all Greek to me. I had to do voice narration too, which was my least favorite part. All in all, I was off to a shaky start! However, as the summer progressed, I made small steps into the world of Big Data. The Big Data videos gave me confidence in a BIG way. I now love the sound of my own voice and am positive that I can do this stuff! This experience single-handedly kicked years of me restricting myself from exciting possibilities.
Every time I hear people talk about their love for networking, I wish I felt the same way about it as they did. This summer, I got my wish. Informatica gave me the perfect non-threatening environment to interact and grow to be comfortable in my own skin. The networking event for interns turned out of be one of my most favorite events of the summer. From the prep tips to the informal setting to the absolute coolest senior management, the event was a wholesome package. For a person like me who tends to shy away from these, it was a revelation that networking does not have to be intimidating!
I now know that all of us have “wow factors” in us, sometimes it takes a bit of work to help us realize what they are.
In my recent blog post, What Do Millennials Want?, I mentioned that we are bringing you a special blog series, “Informatica Interns Ideas: 2014.” Today’s post comes from Sai Avala, a Software Engineering Intern on the Project Springbok Team located in our Redwood City HQ office. Sai is a rising senior at University of Texas at Austin (UT). He’s currently pursuing his degree in Computer Science and Certificates in Scientific Computing and Statistical Modeling. He helped found a mobile app development organization at UT, and teaches his own Android App development class every week. When Sai isn’t at work, he’s most likely hanging out with friends or coding up a new project. Oh yeah, he’s interning with Informatica for the second time!. His post today is titled “Making This Your Best Internship Yet.”
Like many of us, I had a number of choices when it came to my summer internship. And, I chose Informatica not once, but twice. That’s right; this is my second as an intern at Informatica. Why you ask? Good question.
When I was trying to make my decision, it was really pretty easy. My criteria were that I needed to feel comfortable approaching management with ideas, I needed to make an impact, and I needed to learn and have fun. And, based on my experience last summer, I knew I could find all of that at Informatica.
I like coming up with new ideas. Here, I feel comfortable approaching management to pitch my ideas and to give my suggestions. And, I know, based on my experience last year, that they take my suggestions seriously. One of the highlights of last summer was seeing the work I did actually integrated into the product.
At Informatica you have the ability to drive your career. You also have the ability to explore and cultivate your interests. Just recently, I was thinking about some new ways to market Project Springbok (One of Informatica’s new products). I saw the Chief Strategy Officer (Ivan Chong) walk by (he heads the team), stopped him, and started to pitch it to him. Next thing you know, we’re at my desk and we’re hammering the details out. It’s definitely rare to see this kind of interaction between an intern and someone on the Executive Leadership Team
Whether you’re interested in coming up with new ideas and strategies, software development, marketing, or sales, look for ways to grow your skills, I really feel like Once a company reaches the “mid-size” status or larger, it can be hard to find your place. But, you know what, that’s not a problem here at Informatica. There’s so many great people, that literally everyone here has the chance to shine.
In my recent blog post, What Do Millennials Want?, I mentioned that we are bringing you a special blog series, “Informatica Interns Ideas: 2014.” Today’s post comes from Jacob Lauing, a Product Marketing Management Intern located in our Redwood City HQ office. Jacob is a journalism junior at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly). When Jacob is not working at Informatica, you can find him editing news stories and managing a staff full of reporters as Editor in Chief of Mustang News, Cal Poly’s student newspaper.
An empty pick-up truck rocketing down the highway screeches to a 10-mph stroll, then packs on 100 pounds of cargo.
That’s how I’d describe my first week at Informatica.
I come from the world of journalism – a fast-paced, whirlwind of an industry where news breaks at all hours of the day and nine-to-five jobs are a myth. It’s a hectic lifestyle, so when I began my tenure as a product marketing management intern for the cloud division here at Informatica, it’s safe to say things were a bit slower. With that transition came fear – fear that I wasn’t qualified to work here, fear that I wouldn’t catch on to the technical nature of the company, and fear that I simply wouldn’t mesh with the industry as a whole.
But fear is exactly why I’m here. I wanted an internship outside of my comfort zone, something completely new and exciting in an industry I know nothing about. Whether it ends up working out or not, I’m here to learn, and in that regard, my time at Informatica has been nothing but successful.
I thought I was tech-savvy when I came to Informatica.
21st century journalists pride themselves on being technologically sound – they rely on technology to tell stories in innovative ways. But when I sat in on my first product marketing meeting, I knew I had a whole lot to learn. At that point, I probably couldn’t name a difference between Data Integration, Data Quality, Master Data Management and Real-Time Integration. Keep in mind all of these processes are shortened to their initials, so DI, DQ and MDM meant nothing to me.
I felt lost, and pretty far behind my co-workers. But, the one trait that has carried over from my life as a journalist is the ability to learn quickly. After a couple “brain dumps” with my manager, where he poured all of the basic data integration knowledge into my head for hours, I found myself rattling off industry jargon like I’d been here for years.
I never assumed Informatica would be a perfect match for me, because that’s not why I applied for the internship. Like most journalists, I’m driven by curiosity. My brain is a sponge, and I’m at Informatica to absorb as much as I can about this essential industry in 12 weeks.
That truck I mentioned earlier, it’s been through a lot. It’s been forced to cruise on a new highway at a much different pace. That heavy cargo slowed it down, and had it driving far below the speed limit.
Now, it’s starting to accelerate.
In my recent blog post, What Do Millennials Want?, I mentioned that we are bringing you a special blog series, “Informatica Interns Ideas: 2014.” Today’s post, the first in the series, comes from Amitha Narayanan, a Technical Writing Documentation Intern located in our Redwood City HQ office. Amitha is pursuing her Masters in Technical Communication at North Carolina State University. When Amitha is not authoring technical content, you can find her outdoors, exploring the city, reading books on park benches, or doing yoga.
A whole new world in 81 days…
I was caught between two very distinct emotions as I started my technical documentation internship. On the one hand, I was excited about rejoining the workforce after a year of being away in grad school. On the other, I had the apprehension of a six-year old on the first day of elementary school. I also had a nagging voice inside my head tell me that at 33, I might be the oldest intern in the group.
Well, seven weeks into the internship, I have kissed the voice good bye. And I can scream from any rooftop that this is by far the best decision I have made for myself.
If there is one phrase that sums up my intern experience, it is “a journey of (self) discovery.”
By the end of my first week here, I realized the following things:
- There is no such thing as a dumb question. This internship has taught me to ask without apology. The six words that made it possible are “that’s what we are here for.”
- It takes a leader to make another. I see that all around me in managers, mentors, and senior colleagues in the team, who go above and beyond to groom and instill in me the confidence to see myself becoming like them one day. Like they say, “it takes one to know one, show one, and grow one.”
- I am as important as any full-time employee. I might be here for just three months, but my growth and development are just as crucial as any full-time new hire’s.
- I won’t be spoon fed, which is the BEST part. Everyone is helpful and points me to where the information is or who the person is that can answer my questions. I love that it simply doesn’t come to me like breakfast in bed on a romantic weekend.
I also know myself better now. I am sure that I love being in an environment that expects me to hit the ground running; I work well with someone who is direct and simply cuts to the chase. I also now know that age is just a number and there is no better time than now to experience what it is like to be part of an organization that is truly young at heart.
Everyone is trying to figure them out. A now infamous Time Magazine article from last year described them as narcissistic, lazy and coddled. This seemed a little harsh, so I set off to separate fact from fiction. Luckily for me, Informatica has hired a large number of new college hires and interns, so I went straight to the source. I asked them what was important to them, what values they hold dear, and what is important to them in a dream job. Hold onto your hats, their answers may surprise you.
My first question was on a motto they try to live by, and I was struck by how similar what they said was to earlier generations: Family first. Live by the golden rule. Do unto others as they would have them to unto you. Where was the selfish, grasping millennial?
Another advised that “You should never think that you are the smartest person in the room: Ask questions and listen!” he said. Where was the raging narcissist? Yet another advised that you should try to make a contribution to the company beyond what you were hired for. “Get involved, participate, and work for the greater good”, he said.
This was a group of millennials who believed deeply in making a difference. Many of them appreciated that Informatica has a community giving project, and that employees were encouraged to volunteer and organize “giving” events outside of work. They understood that they would have to do some routine work in order to get to the good stuff. All of them recognized that not every day would be a day of scintillating learning. They appreciated that all of our executives have an open door policy and that we work in teams. That collaboration was not just a buzz word for us. Wow! Again, where was the raging narcissist. It would be interesting to expand my study to a greater control group, but in the meantime, I left the meeting feeling energized and really hopeful about this new generation of talent at Informatica.
As an extension of that day, and in the spirit openness, we thought it would be great to have our new hires speak directly to all of you. Our college hires work across several of our business functions Many of them use their technical skills to contribute to our world class data integration products, others flex their analytical and creative skills to dive deep, looking for new answers to old problems. Whichever team our new hires work for, they make an impact. And, to highlight their unique experiences, we’re bringing you a special blog series, “Informatica Interns Ideas: 2014.”
We hope you enjoy it, and look forward to hearing your thoughts on what millennials really want.