At Asana, we’ve spent the last couple of years investing in the expansion of our internship program, which grew to include 10 interns this past summer! In the words of long-term Asana engineer Jack Heart:
“Some people think the value of an intern program Is that the interns get lots of great work done for cheap. This is true to some degree — the interns DO get lots of great work done. But that’s definitely not the main reason to have an internship program.
The reason we do it is best expressed our company value “Investing in ourselves and each other”. Our interns are some of the highest-potential, quickest-learning people in the universe that we know how to find. If we’re able to accelerate their growth now, that’s going to pay off somewhere, somehow, for 40 years.
We trust that investing in our interns will be valuable not just for the world but also for Asana. Not only will some interns choose to return to Asana, but we’re also developing a reputation as a place where every employee has a huge impact and grows as a person while doing it. In the long term, that’s how you cultivate a great company.
Our interns are an influx of new energy, enthusiasm, and excitement and a way for everyone grow together. Almost every Asana loves teaching, and offering mentorship helps a mentor grow as well.”
Read on to hear what a handful of our interns thought of their experiences here last summer.
On Ownership Over Projects & Having an Impact on the Company
A key aspect of our internship program is ownership. No unimportant side projects here: we want our interns to own what they’re working on and embrace our commitment to accountability, all while working on things essential to the company’s success.
“I loved the fact that I had so much say in the final product — that’s something you don’t usually see as an intern. It was one of the rare times when I was told that my work would have a huge impact and then when the work was complete, I actually felt like it did.” – Mark
“In all of my projects, I felt like I either had ownership of the project or was an equal member of a small team. Having that much investment and power in my projects was great.” – Stuart
“I was given enormous responsibility in determining idioms and setting up frameworks that would be used by later contributors. I really like the level of responsibility that I was given, and the level of ownership that I feel that I have over the Android code base.” – Doug
On Advanced Project Work
During the program, our interns are encouraged to push their skill set to new levels. That involves being exposed to various new concepts, parts of the codebase, and different teams.
“ I liked that I was exposed to a lot of different parts of the codebase (views, queries, remote jobs, emails, logs and their processors, experiments, typeaheads, etc.), which meant I got to work with so many experienced engineers and learn about a lot of different perspectives and parts of software engineering.” – Stuart
“I worked with Tyson, the designer, to come up with an interaction, I built out the API portion of the new feature, and then I got to work on the client side implementation! I was able to crank out a ton of features this summer and experience all different types of iOS paradigms that I had no clue about at the beginning of the summer.” – Mark
On Culture at Asana
Culture is part of Asana’s backbone, and for us, interns are Asanas from Day 1. That means sharing our values, mentorship, and ensuring Asana is a place for growth and improvement not just during their internships, but beyond as well.
“Asana is a giant family and I was always excited to come into the office and work together on a shared mission. On top of that, the mentorship I received during my internship was phenomenal and had a huge impact on my ability to accomplish my goals during my twelve weeks.” – Tyler
“I’m so grateful to have gotten a chance to work in an environment that puts so much focus and appreciation on learning and growth. At the end of the summer, I took home not just all the things I learned about software engineering, but also some extra tools to help me keep growing wherever I am.” – Stuart
“Being able to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner together (or any subset of those on a given day) really allows you to connect with people on a personal level. I felt like we were more than just co-workers, we were friends. Work didn’t really seem like work, it just felt like I was hacking on a fun project with a couple of friends and that’s the best feeling you can have while working at a job.” – Mark
We’re currently looking for next summer’s interns to join our team. Apply for internships at Asana!