An internship is commonly defined as “the position of a student or trainee who works in an organization, sometimes without pay, to gain work experience or satisfy requirements for a qualification.” This standard definition matched my ideologies as an intern in the past; however, my internship with NetApp this summer has drastically changed my opinion of what an internship is truly about. From my first week where I played an intricate role in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Summit in Washington DC, to assisting in the planning and executing of events like the NetApp Executive Partner Retreat, I had the opportunity to learn the importance of effective communication and teamwork in a fast-paced environmenr. From the engaging co-workers who are eager to help you to my fellow interns with whom I have cultivated friendships on my journey, I have loved every second here at NetApp.
When I think about my future, there is a lot that goes through my head. Too many times college students choose a company or a job based on monetary compensation. That’s not entirely a bad thing, however more times than not, a recent graduate can find themselves working in a profession that they have very little interest in, and potentially could leave the company after two or three years. During my internship at NetApp, I’ve met more than a few employees who have been with the company for over ten years, and I’ve asked them what makes them stay. Many shared a common answer: they enjoy their co-workers, the environment is inclusive, and most importantly, they love what they do.
Having the opportunity to work with NetApp has given me a firm understanding of how vital data has become to public sector organizations in recent years. As a student athlete at the University of Virginia, data has played an essential role in improving my performance with being able to search the web faster and safer with my personal information being protected. Understanding how to apply data is invaluable. Not only did it help with improving my college experience as a student athlete at UVA, but it also showed me how NetApp’s USPS team uses data to track customer and prospect engagement to tailor their marketing strategy. The importance of NetApp’s ability to process and analyze data is to always ensure the company is maximizing its profits, and bringing new solutions like Hyper Converged Infrastructure, to the marketplace.
While learning about data is invaluable, Net App’s summer internship program also gave me the opportunity to give back to the community. I had the opportunity to work with Food for Others. Food for Others goal is to distribute free food to neighbors in need and to provide opportunities for people to volunteer their resources. Being a part of this event was a humbling experience to me, and it put a lot of things into perspective while showing how giving back really can make a positive impact on everyday lives. I am in the process of starting my own nonprofits and organizations to help those in need, and I hope that I can make an impact on others like Food for Others did for me.
My experience at NetApp over the past 10 weeks has given me a foundation in the data management field that I will be able to use and expand on in my future endeavors. I continue to gain great experience with an industry-leading enterprise and I learn something new daily that I can apply to my own life. The passion and energy the staff continually exudes at NetApp has made the experience invaluable, and I am extremely excited that I could be a part of the NetApp Internship Program this summer.