Summer term is a peak time for junior year college students, as it is the last chance to gain the most realistic career experience before graduating. It is also a time to distinguish your final interests and prepare for future full-time jobs. For this reason, I have devoted my junior summer to being a Public Relations and Social Media Intern at RingCentral.
RingCentral, founded in 1999, is a leading provider of cloud-based phone systems for businesses. With the recent acquisition of Glip, it is gearing towards efficient collaboration and communication within companies.
RingCentral’s Intern program, or as we like to call it — RingTern program, is a 12-week internship course. The 2015 Summer RingTern program included a total of 21 interns, each placed in different departments at their new office in Belmont, CA. Throughout the 12-week period, RingTerns have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience of corporate life, be immersed in its active culture, and explore an employee’s daily life at RingCentral.
The RingTern program is committed to providing college students with hands-on experiences in fields they are interested in before they fully commit to them and graduate. In an interview with Kate Carmack, the Talent Acquisition team member who is organizing this year’s program, she emphasized how the program can fulfill the need for students to get work experience on their resume early in order to get a job after they graduate as well as confirm their career choice.
“The goal here is for each RingTern to acquire real world experience that will help them make the ultimate decision of whether they should continue pursing their chosen career or reconsider where they are heading,” Carmack said, “after all, you may not know what job you are really pursuing until you actually experience it.”
So what makes RingCentral’s program unique, you may ask? Well, as an intern, I was fully exposed to RingCentral’s friendly yet professional culture; the RingCentral environment is very fast-paced, but people never forget to say a warm hello and check in with one another. Such a social atmosphere probably comes from its comfortable working environment. RingCentral not only sets up a resourceful office to boost productivity but also offers work-from-home options supported by its products. The RingCentral office in Belmont provides its employees with TV lounges, ping pong and pool tables, height-adjustable desks, unlimited snack bars, a fitness gym, and even yoga and bootcamp classes, not to mention a variety of delicious food at the cafeteria that inspires me to come to work every morning. Welcomed by the people and the environment, the interns naturally fit into the culture and find their work enjoyable.
The RingTern program especially showcased the strong mentorship established at RingCentral. Many mentors in the program strive to develop their interns into independent and confident workers. “Our mentors work hard to establish trust with their interns and are eventually able to reduce any micro-management, leaving tasks up to the intern to manage and complete. This mentorship not only allows each intern to use the full extent of their knowledge on projects but also gives them proper exposure on how the industry works in a real corporate environment,” Carmack said.
Here at RingCentral, interns are not guided step-by-step on completing their tasks at hand; instead, they are encouraged to problem solve independently, asking for guidance if needed. During my summer internship, I learned how to use the full extent of my abilities. Thus I utilized my entire knowledge base, including what I’ve studied in class as well as what I like to research on Google, applying them all to increase the quality of work. My mentors, in return, believed in my capabilities and were always open to my ideas or suggestions.
Another distinction of this program lies in its collaboration and teamwork that expands the spectrum of experiences that the interns can get. I had a chance to work with each mentor of my team on different projects, getting a taste of diverse tasks held under each position in RingCentral’s Public Relations department. In addition to working with my own team, I also had the opportunity to explore working with the Creative Marketing team for social media projects, which broadened my perspectives on campaign planning and cross department collaboration. Moreover, I could engage in active networking among all the other interns through regular team lunches, executive open forums, and social events. These team-building programs allow all of us interns to get a sense of what our peers were accomplishing in their departments.
More than halfway through the program, I had fulfilled my original intention of this internship by solidifying my interest in social media analytics and shaping my future career path. Most of all, this internship has taught me how to balance my personal and professional life. At RingCentral’s home-like office setting, I could actually enjoy my passion for work rather than viewing it as a chore to complete. I still remember the advice my mentor, Jennifer Dong, Public Relations Specialist, gave me when I told her that I had been staring at the same analytics graph for days. “Don’t feel pressured to be at your desk all day,” said Dong. “You can take a walk at the terrace or watch TV in the lounge for a break, and that’ll also increase your productivity.”
Now every morning I wake up looking forward to the warm breakfast and milk I would have at my desk, starting my day pleasantly and efficiently. With all the resources for my healthy workday provided, from supportive mentors to refreshing yoga programs, I am having by far the most productive summer of my college life.
For more information on career opportunities at RingCentral check out our worldwide job openings!