- The RingTern program is RingCentral’s award-winning college internship program
- Rising Stars is RingCentral’s directed training and mentorship program for new grads
The global pandemic impacted a lot of things, including internships and mentorship programs across the technology industry. Soon-to-be and new grads put in years of work, just to see desperately needed opportunities disappear at the critical moment. Fortunately, helping people and teams accomplish their goals no matter where they are is RingCentral’s reason for being. Pandemic or no, the company didn’t miss a beat – not only keeping our RingTern (internships) and Rising Stars (new grad mentorship) programs going, but thriving—adding a winter RingTern class for the first time.
We sat down with recent RingTern Huiyu Chuang (now a full-time RC employee) and current Rising Star Spencer Quist to see how these programs gave them the direction and focus they need to get up to speed, quickly.
Too many internships end up being all about coffee runs and deck-building. For Associate Product Manager Huiyu Chuang, her RingTern experience was all about hitting the ground running.
“My RingTernship made a real impact not just on my career but for the company. I thought I’d be working on some little side project no one would ever see, but they actually gave me a pretty huge project that ended up in front of executives. It’s actually what I’m working on now. Since it was the first remote program there were a lot of things that we weren’t able to do, like intern meetups and stuff like that but there were other things like Disrupt – where you come up with a new product and put together a pitch – that were really fun.”
The pandemic took Business Development Representative Spencer Quist off his game. But the Rising Stars program provided focus and momentum.
“I recently graduated with a degree in Journalism and quickly realized—no one was hiring sports journalists during a pandemic. I wanted to move on with my life and thought a lot of my journalism skills would transfer really well to the sales role: being able to talk to people, being able to understand where they’re coming from; that translates really well to sales. A current employee from inside the company referred me, and the interview process made it pretty apparent that the skills do translate. Enablement, for instance. That can take a lot of research, and that’s something I already do pretty well.”
No matter how good an internship is, life in the big leagues is different. For Chuang, the next level is a lot – but not too much to handle.
“I have been taking on a lot more projects so I get a little more overwhelmed by all these different things, but every time I meet up with my manager, he makes sure that whatever I’m working on is what I want to work on— he gives me projects based on what I’m actually interested in which is really nice. I know he’s interested in how I’ll progress my career and my growth at RingCentral. I get a lot of guidance in terms of moving forward, and that’s helping me see how I can contribute to RingCentral.”
The direction and focus the Rising Stars program provides is delivering similar results for Quist.
“Everyone has been incredibly nice, incredibly open. If I have any questions I’m encouraged to run it by folks because they’ve probably thought of it. Overall, I’m confident with my work and I’m confident with the work that our team does and I’m just excited for the future. I feel like I have the skills to really take the next step in my progression and, take the next step down the road. I know I’m picking up a set of skills I wouldn’t have been able to find at companies that aren’t RingCentral.”
Strong programs are important. But something else has to click for talented candidates to decide, “this is the place for me.” When it comes to RingCentral, that “something else” is culture.
“I love the constant support I get,” says Chuang “…not only from my manager but everyone else on the team. We have weekly one-on-ones, where almost everyone on my team has helped me not only with work but also issues outside of work — right now for example, we’re all discussing what we, as a team, collectively need as we all to start to come back to in-person work.”
“When I got the job offer, obviously I was super excited and really amped to get going,” says Quist. “but I was a little nervous to get started, especially with it being my first job out of school. The sense of focus (Rising Stars) provides really made me comfortable and excited to join the team, and the company. Really, it’s just a training session, but it got me super excited to train hard and get rolling—it just made the whole process really exciting. And once I actually started working, I could see the benefits of that training, which definitely made me fall in love with the job a little bit more.”
Pandemics are the worst. But they sometimes bring out our best. Putting technology and culture to the test is helping RingCentral find great people and play to their strengths. #strongertogether
Originally published Jun 29, 2021, updated Dec 30, 2022