iWorks Holds 10-Week Remote Internship Program for Summer 2020
By: Sydney MaHan
From technical editing and software development to social media and website updates, iWorks’ summer interns have been making large strides in helping the company while working fully remote due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Established in 2015, iWorks’ 10-week Summer Internship Program seeks to provide college and graduate students with hands-on opportunities to learn and grow within their respective field, whether that be as system developers, technical writers/editors, social media/website coordinators, and everything in between. The program is based on employee referrals as well as reaching out to colleges/universities, which allows participants the opportunity to obtain a paid internship close to home while also being fully integrated members of the iWorks team.
“I like how easily I am able reach out to others working at iWorks and how everyone is so willing to help,” says Kidus, a DCSA Software Development Intern. “My biggest takeaway from the program is to be persistent. When I was starting out especially, I encountered challenges that initially I did not understand, but I asked for help, kept learning, and tried again.”
As full members of the iWorks team, interns are assigned projects throughout the summer. However, they can also design their own tasks throughout the program as well; for some that may mean drafting Standard Operating Procedures or assisting with graphics creation and website maintenance. For others it is learning how to use docker, Git, and Agile development methodologies or to code in Python and familiarizing themselves with Amazon Web Services.
“What I liked the most about interning at iWorks is that I had the ability to choose what I want to do,” says Gillian, iWorks Social Media/Website Intern. “I got to tell my mentor my goals for the summer and I complete tasks based on what I wanted to grow in. My biggest take away is if there is something you want to try- speak up and go for it! I always felt all my opinions were valued and my mentors were always happy to let me try something new.”
Along with hands-on training and project autonomy, all interns were paired with a mentor to help guide them throughout the program and to act as a reference point. While this is standard practice for iWorks, this year’s mentor pairings were even more important with internships being fully remote due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I enjoyed learning from and collaborating with the developers, and my mentor on the team,” says Tareef, a DoD Software Development Intern. “Everyone in the company was willing to answer any questions I had throughout my internship. This made for a great environment to develop my skills and get comfortable programming.”
In addition to the mentorship pairings, career development brown bags were given throughout the summer that focused on topics such as resumes/cover letters, interviewing, and even understanding one’s first job by learning about professionalism and benefits from one of iWorks’ Human Resource (HR) Administrators.
When asked what advice they would give to future interns, this year’s cohort agreed that asking questions and coming in with an open mind was the best advice they could give.
“Do not hesitate to ask questions, it is normal for people to not understand the way different work environments function,” says David, a DoD Software Development Intern. “If you don’t, you get left in the dark and will just have more problems later.”
“I would advise future interns to come into the program with an open mind and excitement for learning!” says Jenna, an ATF Technical Writing/Editing Intern. “If you show interest in the other teams, you’ll have the opportunity to learn much more than you might have anticipated from your main project. Be open for that opportunity.”
Interested in iWorks’ Internship Program? Check out available opportunities and read more from iWorks’ Summer 2020 intern cohort on iWorks’ Internships page.