Guest staff post by Brittany Ceres, Director of HR & Strategic Culture.
Flite Academy wasn’t a part of the original 2012 plan, but when intern candidates started knocking loudly at the end of Q1, it only made sense to infuse our team with eager and talented young people.
As an educator prior to joining Flite, I’ve experienced first-hand how teaching and mentoring can facilitate deeper subject knowledge and understanding. I leaped at the chance to design a plan because this is a great company and we want to participate in the future of our industry by helping to foster young leaders! And ultimately, we pulled off an exciting inaugural summer program to the benefit and enthusiasm of the participants!
We had all ages of interns from high school to post college. Five Flite team managers had interns, but ultimately the entire team participated in the program. We all agreed that Intern experiences should be deep, meaningful & hands on, facilitated through the Flite Company Culture of Agility, Innovation, Effectiveness, Balance, FUN! If the most valuable thing you can give someone is your time, the team was generous through knowledge sharing, availability, and by welcoming play.
Managers participated regularly with their interns to guide their experiences and all gave great feedback in looking forward to participating next year. The program propelled some essential projects to completion and opened up opportunities creative growth and development – for all of us.
We celebrated our interns in their last week with a bowling tournament organized, marketed and lead by our intern team. We collected a lot of feedback and learned a ton about how to make the program better, so a huge THANK YOU to our first year participants!
The ultimate test – what did they actually do? You be the judge below.
Here are a few examples of intern projects:
- Sahana designed and implemented the new www.flite.com/careers - grew the site from one page to three pages.
- Arjun completed a proof-of-concept for responsive design in Flite Metrics
- Katrina and Nitin worked extensively on Marketing & Product documentation, among many other things
- Nitin finalized the Prospective Sales List, a key document to our goal of doubling our customer base by year-end.
- Made multiple site improvements with fun flare, like the addition of our Motivation Wall full of images from employees’ lives that remind us why we work so hard and a new surround sound systems in “the Nest” (Flite’s teaming area).
All members learned how to use our Product Platform, testing our training team and materials. Check out the mock ads that high school interns Karen and Alex built.
Snapple and Adobe trademarks used for educational purposes only.
And here are a few excerpts of experiences directly from a few of our first year interns:
Engineering Intern: Arjun
“My first week was spent getting familiar with Flite's code, which was amazingly educational. I definitely learned more in that first week than any programming class I've taken so far.
After catching up with Flite's code, Grant introduced the mobile reporting project that I would be working on for the majority of the internship. I demoed the final project [in my] last week and committed the code a few days ago.
Finally, this past week I've been doing some Unit Testing for Grant, which is awesome because I rarely encounter in-depth unit testing in my classes. Overall, this internship has been extremely educational and has definitely been one of my best summers.”
UX Intern: Sahana
“I am an intern on the User Experience team, but I went into this with literally no knowledge of coding. They were understanding of this, and my first project was to teach myself some basic HTML and CSS. That was really fun because I was basically being paid to do something which really interested me and that I wanted to do anyway.
Now I’m doing things like mocking up new versions of their Careers page on their website and brainstorming ways to update their Showcase page. These are all manageable projects, but I’m learning a lot about working in a team and with other people.
It’s important to understand how to ask for help when you need it and how to figure things out yourself. The other interns who joined me a week after I joined are all in different departments, and we are supposed to plan a company event together … apparently it may consist of bowling and beer.
Overall I love work. I am in a super central place in San Francisco near two gorgeous parks and a ton of amazing food places. This week is SF Design Week and so I’m going to go to a few events like studio tours and a Pop-Up Expo type show.
This experience is going to really get me ready for the professional world, and I can’t wait to apply what I learn here to school when we go back in the Fall. If you have any more questions about Flite, let me know! Also, their intern program, although only developed this year, is amazing. I highly recommend checking them out.”
Product Marketing Intern: Nitin
“I had the good fortune of being exposed to a wide range of projects and practices as I served on the Product & Marketing team. The projects that I helped tackle was everything from sales pipelines, product marketing, product strategy, technical documentation and really digging into social media and online marketing from an enterprise point of view.
During these projects, we faced obstacles, developed new strategies and helped continue to show the world why Flite is the leading Cloud based Advertising platform. One of the awesome things about Flite that you may not get at every other workplace is the open line of communication and collaboration everyone has with each other, from the executive level down. Everyone supports everyone and it’s really an overall great place to not only work, but also to learn from others who are purpose driven with a real passion for what Flite is looking to accomplish.
I can’t forget to mention some of the awesome perks that I was grateful for which made my days that much better! There is a fully stocked kitchen, it’s a great location right smack dab Downtown San Francisco near BART, lot of great eateries nearby if you are a foodie and the awesome foosball table that lets you have some fun with some of your colleagues between meetings.
I have to give a shout out to Ren Chin (VP, Product & Marketing). Ren was an awesome boss to have and he really put in that extra effort on his side to make this internship fun, exciting and beneficial to me and I can’t thank him enough for that. I will carry with me for the rest of my life some of the things I learned at Flite and hopefully continue to keep in touch and build strong relationships with some of the amazing people I met this summer.”
Interested in joining Flite for next year’s summer program? We’ll be in full disruption mode of the online ad industry by then! – Check our careers page next spring for openings! www.flite.com/careers