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Season of innovation: our first-ever winter class of interns brings a blast of fresh thinking


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When you’ve got the world’s #1 business communication platform, word gets around. People want to be a part of a technology that’s bringing the world closer together, and a culture that gives people the freedom to be their best. Our People team has been inundated with talented young people on a mission to change the world, allowing us to add a Winter RingTern class for the first time ever.  We talked with a group of RingTerns (interns) working with the Innovation team on subjects ranging from design thinking to the ways in which their work can save lives. 


Caroline Song

For Carnegie Mellon’s Caroline Song, the work she’s doing at RingCentral is all about making people’s lives easier. 

“From the beginning of my freshman year, the idea of keeping the user in mind has been drilled into our heads, and I think that’s good. UX designers should constantly ask themselves, “Who are you designing for?”  Every decision we make, we should ask ourselves, “Why did you do this? How does it benefit the user?” So right now, I’m working on RingCentral’s design system, and thinking about ways to make it easier for people to access the things they need to build products.” 


Shruthi Shankar

University of Southern California grad student Shruthi Shankar is getting deep under the hood and incorporating human insight into the architecture of our continuous delivery process. 

“The Platform team is working on enhancing API performances, so I’m coming in at the point where we’re thinking about how these systems are built, and making sure that everything is scalable, that we have microservices, making sure all the calls are smooth, and that everything’s compliant with the security standards. I think it takes a great deal of innovation to come up with an architecture that can handle the kind of load that a company like RingCentral demands at scale.”


Manasa Hari

San Jose State’s Manasa Hari is excited to work on large-scale projects, but never loses sight of who she’s truly working for — the user. 

“I’m a software developer, but I’m also a consumer at some point, right? So I try to keep that person’s needs in mind. I ask myself – what problem is the work I’m doing going to solve? I think about the desired state, then sort of work backwards to get to how I’ll actually implement and develop whatever it is I want to achieve. If I’ve developed something that technically “works,” but is so complicated no end user would ever want to use it, I haven’t succeeded. So keeping that end user in mind is critical.”


Brima Bangura

Brima Bangura is still in his early 20’s and has already started multiple ventures with multiple patent-pending technologies. In 2018, he was named one of the Queen’s Young Leaders by Queen Elizabeth II for bringing bicycle-powered affordable energy solutions to his home country of Sierra Leone. Brima’s unique perspective on what works and what doesn’t in the developing world plays a significant role in the way he’s approaching his RingTernship. 

“I love the idea of RingCentral’s focus on the customer when solving their needs. So right now, I’m working on RingCentral’s Enterprise Product Onboarding. User onboarding is like love at first sight. It is one of the first impressions a customer experiences, and it should make them feel like they have made the right choice of using your software or service. It is crucial because it ensures that the customer finds the product useful from the start, thus increasing user experience and the retention rate. My day involves a lot of meetings with my senior manager/mentor, which I always enjoy. I also write competitive analysis documentations, develop user needs and prioritize requirements, interviews with customers, meetings with other departments that contribute to the overall onboarding funnel, and documenting RingCentral’s current and future onboarding funnel. My philosophy is—at the end of the day, the customers with the problems are the ones that deserve the right solutions.”


Silvia Marihal

Wichita State’s Silvia Marihal is bringing fresh eyes to the front-end engineering process, and using design thinking skills to find new ways to help users be more productive. 

“I’m working on a feature where—if someone wants to create a note, they can just click on the button and it opens up a new note dialog, and they can get to write whatever they want to and they can save it as a draft or send it to any person or group they want to. I’m seeing that the same thing could potentially be applied to the File section as well – whenever a user wants to open a new file, they should be able to do that easily, within the app as well. If I get an opportunity, I think I’d like to talk to some users and get their feedback; see what other issues they’re facing and find out – what could I make that would help them feel the app is more flexible and user friendly? I think that approach will really help me write better code.”


Providing a communications platform that’s truly useful, intuitive and user-focused demands constant innovation. That’s exactly what we’re seeing from our winter RingTern class. These young minds are bringing a freshness, vitality and clear-eyed perspective to our process that will help us build products and features that bring teams, customers and the world a lot closer together. Sound like something you’d like to be a part of? Our RingTern program is running at full-speed, and we’d love to have you join us. Learn more. #strongertogether

Originally published Mar 04, 2021

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