Making the move from college to begin your career journey can be a difficult transition in a young person’s life. Getting your bearings and feeling comfortable in the professional world takes time, and internships can help set the course toward success by giving young people their first taste of the real world, and very importantly, valuable work experience in a professional setting.
As we come to the end of our summer internship program at Virtustream, it’s time for the interns to reflect on what they have learned throughout their experience. We asked members of our 2021 summer intern class to share their key takeaways that will help them succeed in their future endeavors, whether at Virtustream or another career opportunity.
During my internship, I have learned that in the workforce everything is a joint effort. Although many of us are majoring in one or two specific majors, we truly never work just one position when we graduate. Working with the Customer Success Management team at Virtustream has given me a glimpse of that. A few of the things that I’ve done on my internship journey may not completely align with my major or passions, but it helped me build new, valuable skills that I can leverage in my career ahead.
I am in a different position from most interns. I come to Virtustream through the Dell Neurodiversity (https://jobs.dell.com/neurodiversity) program, which manages its selection process based on skills and capabilities instead of the more typical interview process. One thing I have learned during my internship is that you need to jump in and take initiative. Even if you don’t know something, you can always ask. I’ve also learned that you should always welcome and accept feedback as it may end up teaching you something you didn’t know before. During my time at Virtustream, I have learned that everyone across the company is very welcoming to diversity and inclusion.
One of the most important things I’ve learned during my internship experience is how to communicate better when planning a meeting. This means establishing an agenda for what the meeting will address and following up to make sure everything has been correctly understood. I’ve also learned that as you move through any job, it’s critically important to communicate properly. If you can eliminate uncertainty and confusion, your work will move more smoothly.
Miguel Alvarez Rodriguez:
Working for Virtustream has been an unmatched experience. I could not have asked for a better place to complete my first internship. Right from the start, every single person that I met was kind and willing to help me. I can say that I have grown rapidly throughout my time at Virtustream, both professionally and personally. My assigned projects taught me how to navigate as a member of a team and that behind every job, behind every company, and behind every project, there are human beings that are working day and night to make other people’s lives easier. I am so grateful that Virtustream took me into its intern program, making the past three months an absolute joy to work, learn and grow here.
Ask away. In this line of business (a corporation), you’ll quickly learn that “closed mouths don’t get fed.” Create your own goals for the internship and use Virtustream as a resource to get you there. For example, if you’re an engineering intern and you would like to know more about the job possibilities, just ask. You’d be surprised how willing and ready people are to discuss their careers with you and help you to understand your path. Through my internship, I made several connections with people that I didn’t expect to make. I learned more about my abilities and the direction I want to go in. Virtustream’s intern program taught me how to learn in the professional world and provided me with many opportunities to expand my skills and knowledge. The program also showed me the best ways to make that knowledge work for me. So, my biggest internship takeaway for you is quite simple: “Don’t be shy! Just ask why?”
Thanks to Virtustream’s amazing employees, our summer 2021 intern class had the full workplace experience that provided the skills and opportunities we needed for a realistic view of what it’s like to work in a professional setting. The most prominent takeaway for us was the customer-focused perspective that is central to Virtustream’s culture. With everything driving toward customer satisfaction, we saw firsthand how teams come together, no matter what division they are in, to ensure that goals are met.
We collectively improved ourselves and walked away with a clear understanding of what the Virtustream brand stands for and how the corporate world operates. Virtustream celebrates diverse backgrounds and unique perspectives, making it a welcoming place to work. As interns, we quickly learned to ask for help and that when you put yourself out there, people are quick to help you succeed.
To all my fellow interns this year at Virtustream, Dell Technologies and beyond, I hope you take your lessons and experiences with you to your next internship, gig or first official career role. May you thrive and succeed, no matter the path you choose for yourself going forward.