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Rolling with the punches: how the RingCentral 2020 class of RingTerns is making the most of a summer internship season like no other


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The RingTern program is a 10-week internship designed to give new and soon-to-be graduates the opportunity to get hands-on experience and a sense of the culture of RingCentral. 
While many other companies are cutting their internship programs back or suspending them entirely, our technology, tools and culture are keeping the RingTern program moving at full speed. 
We checked in with RingTerns from different functional and geographic areas to see how #winningtogether works in the age of COVID-19.

  • Paola Ausejo – Talent Program Specialist, RingCentral Belmont, CA
  • Virginia Washburn – Arizona State University, Social Media Specialist, RingCentral Denver
  • Nash Kathiravan – San Jose State University, IT Support, RingCentral Belmont
  • Jacob Holm – Chapman University, Financial Planning & Analysis, RingCentral Belmont
  • Adriana Regalado – University of Wisconsin, Back-End Engineering, RingCentral Ft. Lauderdale

RingCentral: This is obviously a very different environment for recruiting, and for RingTerns themselves. How has the pandemic affected you? 

Paola: “We have this amazing platform, and it’s allowed us to make the decision that yes, we can do this. Still, that quick shift was definitely challenging. We saw a lot more applications coming through due to other companies dropping their internship programs, but we decided to cap our program at a little under 50 – not because the jobs couldn’t be done virtually, but because we’ve never done this before, and we wanted to make sure we do it well. We want to make sure that we can give every RingTern the attention they need.” 

Jacob: “I had a lot of friends who graduated and had their job offers rescinded or canceled or postponed or whatever so I’m definitely grateful I had something to do this summer. I know a lot of people who were not fortunate enough to have that.”

Virginia: “Before I started this internship, I was actually working freelance, so I was used to sitting down in front of somebody and talking about their brand — how they’d like to be represented online and their goals. I really enjoyed the face to face, so that’s been something I’ve had to get used to. But the communication between me and my team has been really, really fluid. And I feel like I’ve adjusted accordingly.” 

Nash: “My situation’s a little unique compared to the other RingTerns, since I’m in IT. I’m actually in the office; just me and my team.  It’s great to interact with them—if I have any questions, I can literally turn around and ask someone. Everyone’s been really helpful. And for me, I think being in person has helped me a lot just learning the roles as well as things like company culture.”

RC: So you’re sitting virtually, but working actually. What are you learning? 

Adriana: “I’m working on the back end of Glip. Right now I’m working on link previews. I just got access to all the code that already exists, and I’m reading through everything. It’s definitely a little intimidating, but I’m slowly getting used to everything. And it’s been really fun so far, learning all that.”

Jacob: “I’ve been given a project where I’m looking at a lot of the contracts that RingCentral has made with a lot of their customers, and basically validating that – if they say they are in excess of a million dollars, they actually are, so during earnings calls and so forth, any numbers we share are accurate. And then I’ve kind of been playing around with a software program called Tableau, doing a lot of data visualization reporting, which has been pretty fun.”

Virginia: “The first two weeks, we were just trying to decide where we wanted to go with the summer campaign, and our plans were tight. Then real-world issues like Pride and Black Lives Matter come up, so I know I need to shift. I’m able to Glip my team and say, “Hey, this is what I’m working on now.” As far as what I’m trying to achieve throughout the next 10 weeks, I’m learning how to get better at presenting; taking the team through the examples, show them the vision that I have and how we can mesh from there.” 

Nash: “For the IT team that I’m working with, it’s not all support. We do a variety of different things, like executive support. Just a few days ago, they kind of walked me through that process—how does executive support work? How do they manage equipment, or plan initiatives? They have been also teaching me about setting up and managing webinars and things like that. So for example, the All-Hands webinar today, I’m helping set that up and manage it throughout the entire process. So there’s a lot of scope and a lot of learning.”

RingCentral: Is the program still able to deliver on your expectations? 

Adriana: “My mentor has definitely made a lot of time for me—I really appreciate that. He’s always there. And I also was introduced to some other people on the back end team and they’ve said that I’m welcome to ask them any questions and so on. I’ve really enjoyed my experience so far.”

Jacob: “Yeah, it’s pretty cool. I have a lot of creative leeway when it comes to making data into something visual. So I definitely play around to see what makes the most meaningful impact, and then get feedback from my mentor and my team. It’s been pretty fun. ”

Nash: “Well keeping in mind that I’m actually on-site, I will say, I’m working with my mentor to look at the whole IT organization and how we can create plans that support it, how we can improve the processes. So things like that are amazing to learn, not just doing the processes, but thinking a step ahead and thinking okay, how can we make it more efficient?  That’s something I think is valuable and interesting.” 

Virginia: “I think the virtual internship has made me more versatile with my skills. Working virtually is giving me a chance to kind of step outside my comfort zone and use different techniques and discover different ways of researching and understanding things. Everyone’s communication skills have to get better in this kind of environment. I’m getting really constructive criticism on my stuff – people aren’t just like, “Don’t do that.” They’ll say, “Do it this way because of X, Y, and Z.” So I feel like I’m actually gaining more than I would have if I were just sitting in the office.”

Launching a career in the middle of a global pandemic has the potential to be lonely, scary, and confusing—unless you happen to be launching it with the worldwide leader in cloud-based communications.  When the world returns to normal, (hopefully soon!) our 2020 RingTern class will have the experience, skills, and connections to hit the ground running. We’re grateful for their contributions—and we can’t wait to see what they do next.

Originally published Jul 08, 2020, updated Dec 30, 2022

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