Ex-Interns say that Internships at Facebook make interns more responsible and independent

Facebook says it considers its interns just like full-time employees, which means it also expects you to work like a full-time employee.

Interns are made to work on real projects that are on Facebook’s schedule and not just busy work appointed for interns. Hyla Wallis, leader of Facebook’s university operations said the company looks at internships as an evaluation programme of sorts.

“(It’s) an opportunity for us to get to know our interns and for our interns to get to know us,” she says.

It’s also one of the highest paying intern job a student can get. Facebook interns get paid about $5,600 average per months. That’s $25,000+ more than the average U.S. Citizen.

Facebook give its interns a lot of responsibility and independence. Based on reports from former interns, it indeed seems to be the case.

Elizabeth Gregory, an ex-intern at Facebook last summer said that she had got a chance to attend a meeting with CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Gregory who worked in the product design department said that her manager had encouraged her to sit in a meeting with Zuckerberg as it would be a good experience.

Gregory told Business Insider that “I was just observing, but it was cool to see what Zuck was like.”

She also said she learned a lot from the meeting even though she did not make much contribution to the meeting.

“It was intense because he just spews wisdom at you,” she said. “He was a really nice guy, and he always said hi to me walking around even if he didn’t know exactly who I was.”

According to Gregory’s description, while Facebook might not feel large from a team perspective, it’s Menlo Park office that is open and collaborative. It’s office is adorned with bike lanes, coffee shops, cafeterias, barbers and ice cream parlors. There are no cubicles, and high-ranking executives, including Zuckerberg, work on the same desks as Facebook’s interns.

“Mark Zuckerberg had a desk that looked exactly like mine,” Gregory said. “Same computer, same everything. So that was really nice.”

In addition to the weekly Q&A meetings on Friday, where employees get a chance to ask Zuckerberg and other executives any question that they want in the town hall meetings, female interns got to attend a special meeting with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

“[It] could be a vital question about the future of the company or what kind of dog food you feed your dog,” Gregory said. “It was very, very open.”

McKenzie, another intern who worked in Facebook’s Seattle office, said that she is still touch with a lot of people she worked with last summer. “Seattle Social”, is a Facebook group for those who work in Facebook’s Seattle office where employees can post open invitations for events.

Facebook arranges its own community-building activities, too. Another former intern cited an outing to a basketball game, while Mckenzie referenced playing dodgeball in a company tournament.

Internships at companies like Facebook are competitive and selective. Wallis says the company normally looks for candidate that can “tackle real hard problems.” If you are applying for a software engineering internship, experience participating in a hackathons is a bonus.

“If they can display things that they have been working on over time, like apps, those are the things that we would want to see.”

And, previous experience isn’t always the most important thing.

“(We) definitely looks for the skills that they have maybe more so than the experiences they have”, she says.

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