In today’s competitive job market, exceptional employers are looking for exceptional people. Extracurricular activities, academic achievement, hobbies and professional experience can all make your application stand out. But what happens when you don’t have any relevant experience?
Internships to the rescue.
Internships are a fantastic way to gain professional development, grow your network and experience a range of personal and cultural perks.
This is the fourth year that the global tech company Splunk has been running its Splunkternship (internship) program. The program is growing each year and has been a massive success, with mutual benefits for new professionals and the company.
As a proud Splunktern, Fransiska (“Frannie”) Nauli, attests: “The company wants to give every Splunktern an impactful, fulfilling, positive, and fun experience. Splunkterns meet the leadership team, customers and users, work on impactful projects, and learn in a growing company. And on top of all that you get to have fun while doing it!”
An internship to explore new possibilities
Frannie has been a Field (Sales) Engineering Intern with Splunk since February 2021 and while she admits her journey with Splunk began as a happy accident, she’s never been excited with where it’s taken her.
“It’s super embarrassing to admit, but I will lift my head high as it’s the reason why I’m here today. When I read the company name on a list of internship opportunities I thought it was a typo with the intended word meant to be ‘Spelunk’. But then I was bamboozled as to why someone would sign up to explore caves amidst the pandemic. I did a little research and *boom* found out that Splunk had an ideal Splunkternship program that matched my interests and the flexibility I needed! Being a part of this growing and supportive community is a pretty bizarre yet favorite treat of mine!”
For Frannie, the different skills, experiences and opportunities that she has unlocked in the role would not have been possible without the Splunkternship program.
“As an electrical engineering major, I was certain that having a career that seamlessly blends both business and technical skills was impossible. Boy, I was wrong! Combining the skills needed for business and sales with my engineering experience went hand in hand, like ‘yin and yang’!”
We dived deeper into the things that have made her Splunkternship so special – and share Frannie’s five top takeaway questions for you to consider if you’re seeking a tech internship.
1. Are myths about the tech industry coloring your view about a potential company?
As you’re looking through your own lists of internship possibilities have you noticed yourself making any decisions based on stereotypes or assumptions? Maybe, like Frannie admits she once thought, you believe all tech organizations are meticulous, require advanced qualification and have strict corporate guidelines.
“But I was happily proven wrong when I started here! The people and culture here are so friendly. I’ve never encountered a Splunker who didn’t perk up with joy when I flooded them with questions. They’re more than happy to help out unconditionally. The only catch is – you have to be proactive and reach out to them first!”
Splunk has actually been featured in Fortune 100’s 2021 Best Companies to Work list. Lists like this, or even reading employee stories from the organizations are a great way to get a feel for a company’s culture before you write them off.
2. How much exposure does the program offer?
There’s nothing worse than a poor internship experience characterized by a lack of work, formal training and mentorship. On the other hand, companies that invest in interns and offer you a broad range of exposure to different areas in the business can kickstart your career journey.
Frannie says: “As Splunk Field (Sales) Engineers, we get to experience diverse focus areas and learn new skillsets from customer-facing and technical projects. The role is balanced between three key areas: People, Technology, and Business. We’re unified in our aim to get a holistic understanding of our customers’ pain points by discovering their digital maturity and growth plans.”
Splunkterns are typically spread across different teams, with different specializations, and rotate to gain exposure to different technical and business ventures. This is a great way to find a niche for future development.
“No two days are ever the same. One day, you may be meeting customers, the next, you’ll be doing proof of concepts or data source assessments.”
3. Does the company prioritize culture?
Investing your time, passion and skills is a big commitment. Which is why a company with strong values and a great culture can take your professional development to the next level.
Splunk’s culture is underpinned by its values: Innovative, Passionate, Disruptive, Open and Fun, and embodied by their unbridled fondness for ponies named Buttercup (see what we did there?).
“From the first day, I knew it was a great place to work. The people here are genuinely interested in creating a comfortable and safe learning environment for everyone, including partners and customers. Also, my managers immediately paved a vibrant pathway for me. To this day, I can’t thank them enough for their unconditional guidance and support. I got pulled in by the flexible and practical data-driven mindset but stayed for the world-renowned work culture and, of course, Buttercup.”
4. Will you have opportunities to make an impact?
What if you could tackle a problem no one sees, but we all know is there?
Without a doubt, Splunk’s “Art of the Possible” opportunities are a true testament to their interns’ ability to make an impact. Splunkterns are tasked with fully autonomous individual projects to solve real-world problems. Frannie’s cohort set their sights on Emergency Healthcare, Match Fixing, Machine Learning, Gas Sensors, ATM Transactions and Alert Runbooks.
“Not only did we present our work to customers and partners, and create value propositions, but we also got the chance to solve problems people face every day. It allows you to be proactive and drive decisions through Splunk’s machine data. Presenting my healthcare-based individual project was one of the many worthwhile things I’ve experienced at Splunk so far!”
5. Does the workplace champion DE&I?
Employers that make DE&I (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) a priority create an empowering, bias-free, supportive and gender-equal workplace, which paves the way for innovation and creativity.
“It’s clear Splunk strives to create safe spaces for everyone, including underrepresented groups. Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) such as Womxn+ and Splunk for Good are some of many DE&I programs that make data accessible for everyone, everywhere.
“There’s an explicit invitation to proudly be yourself, even if you’re still trying to find out who that is exactly.”
Frannie is grateful for all the team members at Splunk who support her, vouch for her work and offer feedback for her personal growth and career development.
“People here are interested in fully supporting and seeing you achieve success in both your personal and professional goals. I can’t express enough how lucky I am to have people who communicate so freely with no expectations. It’s an incredible and humbling experience.”
Her final thoughts?
“Be proactive, ask questions, make mistakes and reach out to people – even if it means temporarily stepping outside your comfort zone. Splunk is a safe, open environment – which allows you to take risks without failure. Your efforts won’t go unnoticed.”
Interested in applying for a Splunkternship?
Do you have a love, interest or passion for tech? Are you a curious, passionate university student in your final or penultimate year of study? You could be a great match for the Splunkternship program! Particularly if your degree is in technology, field engineering, or software engineering.
Successful applicants receive a six-month paid internship, with the opportunity to extend their program for an additional six months. While full-time positions aren’t guaranteed after you complete the program, Splunk’s goal is to convert interns into new hires towards the end of their final year.
Frannie can’t wait to meet and get to know the new Splunkterns, and says, “Splunk can’t achieve success without the existence of innovative, fun, disruptive, open and passionate people.”
If you think you fit the description, find out more about the Splunkternship program. Applications are open within two fields for next year with not only the Solutions Engineering Intern (another name for the same position as Frannie – Field Sales Engineer Intern) and the Software Engineering Intern pathways. Applications close on the 22nd of October 2021, and the Splunkternship itself will start in February 2022.