My Summer as a LinkedIn Intern

My Summer as a LinkedIn Intern

Alex Siminoff

Last Fall, I flat out set a goal for myself; intern at a big company in San Francisco. My search started in late October/early November, but really picked up towards the beginning of the new year. I scoured Handshake (UA’s job board), Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn Jobs. My search criteria was simple. A marketing internship in a 10 or so mile radius of San Francisco with a household name company.

Fast forward to March 1st, and I’m starting to get a little ancy about a summer internship. I had a video interview with Under Armour a few weeks ago, and was in talks with Geometry, a global ad agency with an office in Akron. I started to utilize LinkedIn Jobs more, and while I was browsing, two positions at LinkedIn  appeared. After reading through both positions, I applied for one and continued my search. Two days later, I got an email from a LinkedIn recruiter wanting to hop on the phone. We scheduled a phone screening interview for the 6th, and my journey with LinkedIn began.

I remember the exact moment my phone rang, and the caller ID showed a California number. I looked nervously at my phone and thought to myself that I should probably take this. I walk into the other room, and its Courtney, my LinkedIn recruiter. I’m on to the second round! One thing I found unique about the recruiting process was how Courtney would call me a few days before my next interview to give me a debrief on what the next interview was about. We schedule the 28th for my second interview, where I would meet my eventual manager, Chloe.

The week of the interview fell on Spring Break. My parents were coming to town, and we had plans to do a bunch of things around Akron and Cleveland. The 28th finally arrived, and I was as nervous as can be. I did my research, felt prepared, and was ready for the interview.

On April 3rd, I get another email. I’m moving on to the third and final round of interviews! I was so happy, I couldn’t believe it. I thought the interview went well, but I knew I could have done a bit better. Now I had to quickly prepare for the 11th, where I would have one of the most important conversations of my life.

It’s Wednesday, April 11th, Interview Day. When I got home from my 12:15 class, I recall begging my roommates to be as quiet as possible for the next hour or so. I made up a half assed excuse, but wearing a full suit, I’m not sure if they bought it. I was extremely quiet about my interview process with LinkedIn, some may even say superstitious. At this point, I think only my parents, girlfriend, and mentor knew what was going on. It was time, and my heart was nearly beating out of my chest.

I was told I was going to get a call by the end of the week, if not early next week. Every time my phone vibrated the next day my heart skipped a beat. It was out of my control now. The following morning went by as usual. After lunch, I walked to my 1:45 Marketing and Sales Analytics class with Dr. Djuric. As I walk into class, my phone vibrates. And it vibrates again. I look down at my phone and see the caller ID. It’s from California. I stop dead in my tracks in the middle of the classroom. This isn’t the same number or location that Courtney has previous called me from. I immediately dismiss the notion it’s LinkedIn and proceed to my desk. However, I still toss my bag onto my chair, and walk out of the room to answer the phone. I was completely wrong. It was Courtney.

At this very moment, there was so many things running through my mind. After a brief conversation, she breaks the news.

I got it. I did it. I’m in utter disbelief. We chat about the details, which only excite me even more. I was punching the air, throwing my hands like a maniac in the hallway. I was screaming (without actually making a noise… What do you call that? Air screaming?) like I just won a gold medal. I’m going to be an intern at LinkedIn in San Francisco!

Fast forward 3 months, and I’m sitting in my apartment in SF retelling one of the most nerve wrecking experiences of my life. The journey to get to where I am now was incredibly difficult but has come with great reward. Walking into orientation and meeting so many new faces was an awesome experience, but I learned something very quickly. Everyone here goes or has gone to an ivy league or equally as prestigious university. Almost no one heard of The University of Akron. I was an outcast. But almost as quickly, I recognized something. I’m here for a reason, and I got here the same way they did. This just only put a chip on my shoulder, and I knew I had something to prove.

What I Worked On

Now that it’s public knowledge, I can share that the Groups team is launching a brand-new LinkedIn Groups experience! TechCrunch and AdWeek published articles covering some of the key takeaways on this exciting new launch. Within those articles, I actually had the chance to write the micro-copy for the in-app screenshots!

However, my main project was working on ways to reduce spam and off-topic content in Groups. I conducted member research, worked with our internal partners, and synthesized past research. I then acted on my research by recommending changes, writing a help center article, and highlighting potential opportunities. I thoroughly enjoyed working on all of my projects this summer, especially Project Musubi.

What I Loved About LinkedIn

The SF office was amazing. Every floor had a distinct theme, and on the 15th floor, where I sat, the theme was movies filmed in San Francisco. Our desks are arranged in “pods” and I sat next to a designer, Meriç. The rest of the Groups team sits in front of me, and Messaging is behind me. I loved the way this was set up. Communicating with the team, especially the marketing team, was very easy and enhanced the work environment.

Another benefit of being in the SF office was the view. From the 15th floor, you can see the gorgeous skyline and even a glimpse of the bay. I never got tired of sitting on one of the chairs by the windows and working from there. There’s also a terrace and coffee bar on the 17th floor, and the 18th floor is designed for comfy places to work. It’s always nice to work from different areas in the building and always have amazing views.

Overall, the people, food, and culture made coming into work every day enjoyable. Taco Tuesday was legit, and boy did I enjoy it. There was always something in the café you would love. I especially liked grabbing lunch with Sophie and Ola. Our conversations were always entertaining to say the least.

Intern Events

Over the course of the summer, interns had the chance to participate in numerous events. One of my favorites was the Intern Speaker Series. Executives would come in and speak and allow us to ask questions. Even our CEO, Jeff Weiner, spoke one week. My personal favorite was Allen Blue, the Co-Founder and current VP of Product Strategy. After the talk, I had the chance to have a conversation with him and ask him a few questions. Who would have thought an Intern would get the chance to talk to a Co-Founder?

Similar to the Intern Speaker Series, LinkedIn holds a general Speaker Series where famous people, such as authors and speakers, would join us for a fireside chat. Most recently, Reid Hoffman sat down with the author Daniel Pink. I was so excited to be in the same room as Reid, he is a legend in Silicon Valley.

On one Friday, interns had the chance to showcase their work with everyone in the office. It’s called the Intern Project Fair. This was a great way for everyone to better understand what projects the interns are working on. I was thrilled that some of the groups team came down and asked me a few questions. Overall, I got a lot of great feedback that helped me finish up my project.

The all hands was another unique event I got to attend. I especially enjoyed the one where all of the executives got on stage for Q&A time. I thought this was so unique, and I loved hearing all of their answers. I even had the brief opportunity to introduce myself to our CMA, Shannon Brayton, at a Marketing & Communications all hands.

Some other events we had were Intern/Mentor Day, Intern Care Packages, lunch events, and fundraising for charities, where we raised over $22,000! Interns also had the chance to go to Disneyland, travel between offices, and so much more.

To all of the amazing people I’ve met on this journey, thank you for making it so memorable. It’s been an incredible twelve weeks, and I’m extremely proud of myself for making this dream a reality.

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