Article

Summer 2019 Smartsheet Interns: Charting Your Career Path

by Corinne Long

For the last six summers, Smartsheet has welcomed a class of interns—in a variety of roles and across departments—who work side by side with our employees on real-world solutions.

Three interns face the camera while pulling blackberry bushes visible in the forefront

Fetching coffee isn’t on the to-do list. And bored isn't in our interns' vocabulary.

The best internships provide a hands-on experience to help interns determine their interests and explore future career paths. And that’s exactly what we hope to provide at Smartsheet, within a supportive environment where everyone—regardless of title—is empowered to make an impact.

Meet the Interns

This year we hosted 31 students across our Bellevue and Boston offices. I spoke with a few of them to learn more:

  • Adrian is a software development intern and informatics major at the University of Washington. He has a pet spider named Jordan and can be found brewing an assortment of beverages, including: coffee, cider, wine, and tea.
  • Colin is a solutions consulting intern and computer science major at Dartmouth College. This past year, he involuntarily took ownership of a guinea pig that lived in the ottoman in his dorm room.
  • Hannah is a solution implementation intern and public affairs and economics major at UCLA. Hannah is always looking for her next meal to review on her food blog.
  • Kate is a training and certification intern and marketing major at Western Washington University. She also volunteers at Janssen Pharmaceutical as a patient advocate for psoriasis.
  • Molly is a brand marketing intern and marketing major at the University of Washington. In the summertime, you can find her paddle boarding and swimming in Lake Washington.
  • Thao is a financial planning and analysis intern and business analytics and finance major at Seattle University. He grew up in a busy household with seven siblings.
  • Sophin is a sales operation analyst intern and business intelligence major at the University of Washington. In the last three years, she’s lived on three separate continents—Asia, Australia, and North America.
  • Greyson is a business solution analyst intern and business and informatics major at the University of Washington. He received his scuba certification from the Professional Association of Diving Instructors when he was only 11 years old.
  • Bridgette is a marketing automation intern and marketing major at the University of Washington. She is bilingual in English and Spanish, and hopes to be trilingual in French in the future, to speak fluently with her family in France.

Two interns pose for a photo on a farm in front of a fence

Owning a Summer Project

Our interns are full-time team members with the opportunity to make a real-life impact. Not only are they tasked with creating solutions, but their work gets implemented into operations at Smartsheet.

Below is a sampling of the projects they spearheaded this summer, in their own words:

  • Adrian: “In our research, we identified a need to better engage new users when they start using Smartsheet. For my first project, I created a tip for new trial users to encourage them to create their first sheet. My job was to implement this idea to give new users additional direction and collect data to see if this made a meaningful improvement. I was excited because it’s such a strong customer-facing project.”
  • Colin: "I created an internal, peer-review survey for the consulting team, which is now being deployed. Utilizing the form, sheets, and dashboard I created, managers and directors are now able to see which professional skills teams are most proficient in and which ones need more work. I am proud of what I have created, and I hope it will encourage growth as individuals improve skills and competencies as professionals, team members, and leaders. I’ve also created the new statement of work calculator, which helped me grasp how the consulting branch worked.”
  • Hannah: “I helped design a client-facing project. I was on the calls and started building what they asked for. I also created an internal new hire dashboard. It’s a one-stop-shop for new hires to access all of the resources within the team.
  • Kate: “I am in charge of coordinating a ‘Hack for Good’ event at ENGAGE where solutions leads will be paired with nonprofits to help them build solutions.”

Four interns pose for a photo in a barn while holding broom handles

Learning on the Job 

It’s normal to have preconceived notions about what it’s like to join the workforce. And for some of our interns, this was their first time stepping into an office environment.

Our interns share their biggest takeaways and “aha” moments about work-life fulfillment, their career path, and business goals, based on their internship experience:

  • Sophin: “It helps me to focus on career aspects that I had not previously thought of. The projects are so collaborative that I learned to solve problems from different views; and I find myself inspired by ideas that were not just specific to my role all the time.”
  • Molly: “I’ve learned that there are so many avenues within marketing. My manager, Stephanie, encourages me to meet with her and other members of the team to learn more about what I can do. It’s helped me expand my view on career goals. My career doesn’t have to be one straight line; there are many disciplines and fields that I can pursue.”
  • Colin: “Before this internship, my only idea of ‘office life’ was from the TV show “The Office.” I love the work environment at Smartsheet, everyone has been so friendly and nice. I didn’t realize that my work environment was important to me. It was also great to see how mission-oriented my team is.”

Seeing members on my team use the same applications that I’m learning in school affirmed my belief that I’m on the right track. It was inspiring to watch them use code to come up with solutions that help our clients. - Colin

  • Kate: “In my current role, I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter as much what you major in, it’s more about your skill set. I’ve learned so many things about marketing and how versatile it is. From how to hold yourself in the office, to learning how to respond to customers’ needs, I think those are some of the important things that I’ve gotten out of this internship. They’ve helped me understand what my career could be.”
  • Greyson: “My first internship was in construction, which gave me the desire to switch my major. This internship makes me feel more confident in that decision. My manager has given me the freedom on a project to do what I need to do and make decisions on my own, while checking in and getting feedback. There’s a lot of freedom and creativity around the projects I’ve been working on.”
  • Bridgette: “Diving into a new role was a bit challenging, but my team is amazing and extremely supportive. My manager is patient and understanding of where I was at and helped me grow in my role from the first day.”

Not only do I get to work on projects, but I also get to see the results and impact of my work and that’s been really rewarding. - Bridgette

Soaking up the Culture

Our internships are meant to provide an immersive experience into life at Smartsheet, which is why interns are matched with a mentor and have the opportunity to engage directly with our leaders— including our CEO Mark Mader—to ask questions and discuss our values. Hear about the culture at Smartsheet from some of our interns:

  • Greyson: “The culture is great, everybody at Smartsheet is really helpful and willing to meet with you to give advice. I try to meet with all of the people on my team, even branching out to other departments. I try to immerse myself in the culture, which is easy because of how welcoming and inclusive everyone is.”
  • Thao: “I have weekly meetings with my manager, Amy. We get together to talk about how I’m doing and the different aspects of the company that I’m interested in. She’s really great about connecting me with different people. The team as a whole is great for mentorship. I can go to anybody and ask them questions and they’ve all looked out for me to help me grow in the role. It’s been great for professional development and also for learning how to communicate within a team.”
  • Hannah: “I originally thought that going into the public sector was the only way to make a difference. The more time I spend here, I’ve learned that my team members make a difference every day with each other and our customers. I like how employees take time to hang out outside of the office and make connections outside of work. It really shows me that the culture here extends beyond the office.”
  • Sophin: “My first impression was that people work hard to create solutions and meet the needs of the customers. Everyone has been so eager and willing to help me. I don’t feel shy to ask questions because there are so many people around who are happy to do so. I’m also very impressed by the company’s considerate culture (like having wellness rooms) as well as Friday bagel day because it tells me how much employee happiness is valued here.”
  • Adrian: “I was pleasantly surprised by the diversity of my team. You get the sense that diversity and community are celebrated here.”

Boston interns pose for a picture at an escape room in front a wall holding signs

An Experience to Last a Whole Career

After the summer, interns have the opportunity to be considered for a return internship or full-time position following graduation. And no one knows that better than Catherine O’Brien, who is the internship program coordinator and a former intern herself.

“From day one, Smartsheet made a lasting impression on me,” O’Brien shares. “It’s fun looking back at pictures from my two summers interning, and seeing so many of us now work at Smartsheet full-time. It’s an experience I’ll never forget, and one that I strive to create for future interns.”

True to its values, Smartsheet is committed to creating a supportive environment where interns can grow and develop. In fact, Smartsheet was recently recognized with a Comparably Award for its focus on professional development.

If you’re looking to join a company that supports your career growth and professional development, check out our careers page or fill out this form if you’re interested in learning more about a 2020 summer internship!