Recap: Summer Internship Program

Our summer internship has come to an end. Our interns put in hard work this summer across their different departments and have made quite an impact here at AppDynamics. While we’re sad they’re making their way back to school, we know they are taking many important lessons with them. In this post, we’ll take a look at the final highlights of their internship.

Intern Speaker Series – Meeting our Executive Team

Interns with Thomas Wyatt, our Chief Strategy officer.

Every Wednesday, the interns met with members of our executive team during our Lunch & Learn Speaker Series. Our interns led conversations with our executive team members –  including our CEO, CTO, COO, and CMO – and had the chance to ask anything on their mind. Execs shared their professional background while giving extremely valuable advice for success. David, our CEO, even asked for their input and feedback on a few things!

Mentorship, Networking & Forming Lasting Relationships

Our interns were paired with mentors this summer who supported them with feedback, guidance, and advice. Our interns built lasting relationships with their mentors who have helped them grow professionally and personally over the past 12 weeks.

In addition to the 1-on-1 guidance from their mentors this summer, interns had a chance to network with our fresh grad hires over the years! Each intern was assigned a fresh grad buddy to show them the ropes when they first started. We had a fresh grad & intern lunch mixer where our recent grads gave valuable advice and shared why they chose AppD for their first role after college. The fresh grads and interns even attended a Cisco & Meraki Early-in-Career happy hour to meet other early-in-career folks within the Cisco Family.

 

Ultimately, our interns had the chance over the summer to bond and build friendships over the summer. We had countless events outside of the office including a graffiti class, cooking class, escape room, a food tour of San Francisco’s Mission district, and a final goodbye bowling party. They’ll be able to look back at the summer together and share these memories!

Final Projects

The work our interns did this summer has made a lasting impact at AppDynamics and in their departments.

All of our SF interns grabbed a mic and took the stage to present the projects they’ve been working hard on all summer  They were able to demonstrate the ownership of their projects, the quality of their findings, and even gave next steps and recommendations for their projects as well!

Our sales interns had the chance to present their final project to the entire sales organization as well in Dallas. At AppDynamics, our interns don’t work on side projects or things to just keep busy. They’re projects that truly make a difference here even after the summer’s over.

 

We’re already looking to bring on the brightest talent as interns & new grads for 2018. Be on the lookout for our open positions on our careers page.

In the meantime, meet some of our 2017 summer interns and learn about the awesome work they’ve done.

Stefan Hermanek – Product Management Intern

Where do you go to school, and what are you studying?

Carnegie Mellon University, Masters of Information Systems Management

Why did you pick your major/area of expertise?

I’m super interested in tech, tinkering with new ideas, and building products that delight!

Why did you want to intern at AppDynamics?

AppDynamics is in a really unique position to own both IT Ops and Analytics, while also being really driven and focused by customer focus. I love contributing along the way!

Which classes have helped you prepare best for this internship?

Managing Disruptive Technologies, Distributed Systems, and Client Side Web Technologies – some tech, some business, just like it should be 🙂

What skills/knowledge did you gain from your internship and why?

I learned a ton about product management in enterprise software. More importantly, I learned how to articulate needs, blockers, and requirements. Personally, I’ve learned a lot about what I’d like to do in my future career, where my strengths are, and what my areas for improvement look like!

What projects did you work on, and what was the most challenging part?

I worked on integrating adoption metrics for Business iQ, from top of funnel to feature-level adoption. The project creates end-to-end visibility, sliceable to the account level. The challenge was identifying owners of data, and then integrating data from various sources, units, time measurements, etc.

What’s one thing about your team that you enjoyed?

Everyone’s always up for a smile and a joke, and I really loved the energy around the office.

Carmen Martinez – Legal Intern

Where do you go to school, and what are you studying?

University of San Francisco, School of Law

Why did you pick your major/area of expertise?

My undergraduate degree was in Business Administration. I have always loved the concept of a business: transforming nothing into something, transforming an idea into a product. However, I easily realized that I didn’t want to get an MBA but instead want to go into the legal side of a business. I went into law school with the idea of going into corporate law or IP. Through various experiences throughout my first and second year at USF, I grew interested in the transactions side especially within the tech field.

Why did you want to intern at AppDynamics?

I became aware of AppD through previous legal interns. They all had really enjoyed their experience here and said they have learned so much while enjoying their experience. I will say though, that the interview process, was what really sold me on AppD. It was an interesting experience that allowed me to see the culture that was present at AppD. First, I was interviewed by the Senior Corporate Counsel (who ended up becoming my current manager), Evan LeBon. His approach to really get to know what I was looking for in an internship and what my career goals made the process unique. Typically in interviews there is only a “what can you do for the firm/company.” However, this interview felt different because it was also about whether AppD could benefit me as well. Whether I could get meaningful exposure to the legal field that would help me personally.

Which classes have helped you prepare best for this internship?

I wouldn’t necessarily say a class has helped. All classes have taught me to be analytical when it comes to what I read which has helped in paying close attention to detail, especially in reviewing contracts. However, I was a part of a StartUp Clinic at USF that provided some preparation for this position. Our StarUp Clinic was set up as a Legal Team format essentially, where a corporate, employment, IP and business student worked for a client. Similar to how AppD has different team members within their team, so did our clinic. The dynamic and importance among different team members has translated. However, the type and level of work has been a learning process.

What projects did you work on, and what was the most challenging part ?

I was part of the contracts team, therefore I got to work on a variety of agreements. However, the most challenging part came within the first couple weeks of my internship. There is definitely a steep learning curve to understand the AppD product and services offered. Understanding what our product does and does not do is key, because it lets you understand what risks need to be considered and what language in contracts is more important than others.

What’s one thing about your team that you enjoyed?

Their mentoring approach. What I mean by this is that this isn’t a team that just gives their interns work for the sake of doing work. It isn’t busy work either. But instead these really are learning opportunities that are meant to be challenging. Everyone I have gotten the chance to work with has helped me to not only learn how to review/draft/execute an agreement but understand why it should be done a certain way. They have really committed to teaching me how to be a transactional lawyer and not simply how to do the work that needs to be done. Every team member has their style and their way of teaching but they all have one thing in common: they really want their intern to succeed. Evan, for example, was always willing to explain any type of concept or agreement, provide options, but also make me think thoroughly about any proposal I had. Amy Hansen, our Deputy General Counsel, taught me how to be thoughtful and purposeful in the language I use. I knew very early on that suggestions and edits I gave had to have a justification for them. Her style, made me very analytical in the way I redlined a contract or drafted an agreement. Hwa Lee, the Director of Intellectual Property, instilled the idea that I have to know my audience. That no matter how much we know, if we can’t communicate it to people outside our Legal Team, it makes our job impossible. He also taught me about Open Source so that was pretty amazing.

Overall, AppD’s legal team is extraordinary. The reason being because personal success looks like team success (or at least that’s how I saw it).

Paul Loftness – Security Intern

Where do you go to school, and what are you studying?

I attend Baylor University in Waco, TX.  I am studying Computer Science and Philosophy.

Why did you pick your major/area of expertise?

I wanted to work in information security.

Why did you want to intern at AppDynamics?

The AppDynamics employee I met was extremely sharp.  I wanted to work with people of his caliber.

Which classes have helped you prepare best for this internship?

Systems Programming

What skills/knowledge did you gain from your internship and why?

I honed my skills in system integration work.  I learned more about regulatory and industry framework compliance.

What projects did you work on, and what was the most challenging part?

I worked on the unified compliance metrics development project and the security questionnaires and enablement email list. It has been both challenging and rewarding to to learn how to communicate security information to salespersons with maximum efficiency.

What’s one thing about your team that you enjoyed?

I appreciated that people were willing to spend time together when not on the clock. This made for a very cohesive team.

Bradley Baniewicz- Sales Intern

Where do you go to school, and what are you studying?

I attend Baylor University, where I am a Senior pursuing a degree in Professional Selling.

Why did you pick your major/area of expertise?

I chose to focus my studies in the area of sales because I view the ability to sell as a fundamental skill required for success in business. It became clear to me that gaining someone’s confidence and trust is fundamental to succeed in business. I believe the ability to interact with another person is the greatest skill one can possess. Therefore, I wanted to develop that skill and learn to apply it in my career and in my life. Through the opportunity and curriculum in the ProSales program at Baylor, I have been able learn and develop these skills.

Why did you want to intern at AppDynamics?

I wanted to intern with AppDynamics because I saw it as the place to gain valuable sales experience in the technology industry. I wanted to gain this type of experience with a company that has both innovative and advanced solutions. In addition, I saw it as a place with strong character and leadership – a place that would provide the most professional growth.

Which classes have helped you prepare best for this internship?

The classes I would say that have prepared me for my internship are ProSales & Communications I and Principles of Marketing & Business Communications.

What skills/knowledge did you gain from your internship and why?

One of the biggest skills that my internship helped me develop was time management. Having to meet deadlines for projects/assignments, while also having time commitments for meetings has helped me prioritize and manage my time. This was absolutely essential in my internship in order to be efficient. In addition, the internship helped me continue to develop my presentation and public speaking skills. Throughout my internship, I was given the opportunity to present in front of the sales team, senior leadership and fellow interns. These opportunities to speak provided me with real experience to present the findings and research that I worked on throughout my internship.

Not only did this internship help me improve my skills, it provided me with insight into the Application Intelligence industry. It also provided me with knowledge about the sales process/structure and strategies.

What projects did you work on, and what was the most challenging part?

I assisted in the creation of a Black Friday Vito sequence in order to target retail companies that are preparing for Black Friday & Cyber Monday. I worked on an analysis of 2017 Fiscal year data. That analysis took an in-depth look at the accounts sold into during the 2017 fiscal year, and provided insight into areas for expansion. In addition, I helped with the consolidation of named accounts for Q3 and helped create contact lists for reps with named accounts.

The project I found the most challenging was the analysis of our 2017 fiscal year data. It was the biggest project I worked on and the most comprehensive to the company as a whole.

What’s one thing about your team that you enjoyed?

What I enjoyed the most about the team is their helpfulness and willingness to teach. There is an amazing culture at AppD that promotes learning, growth and creativity. This culture is set from leadership and spans through every sales rep in this office.  Everyone I have worked with has left a profound impact on me. Working alongside the Reps in the Dallas office for Ten weeks has been one of my greatest learning experiences.

Joan Hong- Software Intern

Where do you go to school, and what are you studying?

University of Southern California, B.S. Computer Science and minoring in Cinematic Arts

Why did you pick your major/area of expertise?

I’ve always enjoyed problem solving and logic. When I took my first computer science course in high school and found that both of these are fundamental to coding, I knew that I wanted to learn more. As I discovered how much impact and innovation can be created through tech, I became even more interested in computer science and software development.

Why did you want to intern at AppDynamics?

I wanted to intern at AppDynamics to learn about how to create, manage, and monitor large scale applications, as well as understand how AppD achieved its high growth and success. The people that I spoke with throughout the interview process were welcoming and excited about their work.

Which classes have helped you prepare best for this internship?

All of my coding-related courses, including Operating Systems, Principles of Software Development, and Data Structures and Object Oriented Design, helped prepare me for the technical challenges of the internship.

What skills/knowledge did you gain from your internship and why?

I developed my technical skills by building the foundations of a micro-service. I quickly learned about the codebase and other open source frameworks and technologies, such as DropWizard. I also learned to take more initiative to receive as much feedback as possible and to reach out to fellow team members.

What projects did you work on, and what was the most challenging part?

I worked on the new initiative, Dev IQ. This project aims to break into the developer market by creating a tool that integrates runtime monitoring data from production deployments into developer tools. I built an end-to-end MVP for the Java version of the product, which consisted of the service itself and the IntelliJ plugin. The most challenging part was learning about and using the codebase, but by the end of the summer, I was much more comfortable with it.

What’s one thing about your team that you enjoyed the most?

Everyone on our team was friendly. My mentor, Suraj, was very knowledgeable and thoroughly answered all the questions that I asked about the project. One of the team members, Vivek, especially impacted my summer by taking the time to reach out, introduce me to more people at AppD, and share his experiences with me.

The Four Things I Learned in Ten Weeks at AppDynamics

It’s Friday, July 28th, 2017, 7 PM, and I’m sitting down to start writing this blog post. It’s the last day of the quarter and I’ve just finished week six of my eleven-week summer internship at AppDynamics. Realizing that I’ve passed the halfway point, I figured now was as good a time as any to reflect on my experience here thus far and set new goals for my remaining five weeks.

I moved to Texas in June with a start date, one suitcase, one duffel bag, and zero friends or family. Since then I’ve had two car breakdowns and countless moments of uncertainty, but I’m still here, and proud that I’ve made it this far! Coming to Dallas and AppD was the first big risk I’ve taken in years and my first time without a built-in safety net to catch me.

Because I’ve been pushed so far outside of my comfort zone, this entire experience (a sales job, life in Texas, and staring senior year/graduation in my face) has taught me more than I ever expected. I can pretty much place all of my life and career lessons of the summer into four buckets…

1: Set Your Own Goals, Then Exceed Expectations.

When I introduced myself to my manager on day one, neither of us knew what I could handle or how I would perform. I’m pretty sure he thought it was funny when I told him, “If you want me to get three New Business Meetings, I want to get six! My goal for the summer is to double any performance metric you give me.” Looking back I probably would’ve had to suppress a laugh if I were him.

But while doubling metrics is probably too lofty to be consistent, that meeting helped set the tone with my manager from the get-go and, more importantly, helped me set a high bar for my own expectations. Once I had said it out loud to a member of leadership, I had to produce or run the risk of looking like an idiot. It also gave me a confidence boost. By setting high goals for myself, other people began to expect more from me.

2: Always Say “Yes” to (and Ask for) New Challenges.

Numbers and analytics have not traditionally been my strong suit. I’ve never had a passion for math and before this summer my excel proficiency was limited. But when your manager asks you to do regressions and data analysis, you figure it out!

In just six weeks I’ve been asked to do all sorts of projects that don’t align with what I believed to be my primary skill sets. It took a lot of Googling and flashbacks to high school statistics, but I was able to produce the content I was asked for. Now I’m actually proficient in excel and understand what goes into doing a business-centric data analysis on KPI’s. I was even able to present my findings to 90+ people at the quarterly sales review! I would never have cultivated these new skills if I had said no simply because I hadn’t done it before or because I wasn’t a “math person.”

Candidly, at first, I said yes to every project simply because I was too afraid to say no. But that evolved into another huge life lesson; you might have to ask for help, but you can figure it out. Additionally, the best projects I’ve worked on this summer are ones I’ve asked for. If you have extra bandwidth, you may as well use it to challenge yourself. Always say yes to projects that present new challenges because they give you the chance to grow and (shout out to lesson #1) exceed your own expectations.

3: Say “Hi” and Ask Questions

According to some reps, they thought I was shy my first week at AppD. I quickly realized I needed to put myself out there with people if I was going to become part of the team and get the most out of the potential mentors sitting a few desks down.

After week one I got advice from my dad who said, “Just say hi to everyone and ask lots of questions.” Really simple, but something that I can take with me in all aspects of life. The information and insight I’ve gained just by asking questions in passing and interacting with AppD employees have been overwhelming in the best way.

The people I’ve met here have helped me make the transition to Dallas easier than I could have ever hoped. They’ve also equipped me with insights into the tech industry and business world that no classroom could ever provide. This is what happens when good people make up a great team and all strive for a common goal.

4: There is No Silver Bullet

One of my favorite things about being an intern is getting to shadow and learn from so many different people. And while there are consistencies and patterns of how the best reps achieve success, there definitely isn’t a silver bullet.

I’ve watched the high-energy, extroverted “sales shark” excel, but have also worked with equally successful people who are quiet in nature and take a remarkably different approach with their customers. Despite personality differences, there are three things I’ve seen every successful rep display: persistence, adaptability, and an unending desire to learn and improve.

At AppD I’ve observed a culture fostering this positive individual growth. There might not be a silver bullet for prospecting or closing deals, but the sales organization and leadership has found a way to enable success for reps of all personalities and tenure. This is the kind of culture that breeds achievement and builds high-performance teams.

Higher Expectations Going Forward

I’ve experienced unprecedented personal and professional growth in the past six weeks at AppDynamics, and it has inspired me to expect more from myself and made me even more hungry to learn. Upon reflection, all four of my life lesson “buckets” from this summer seems a bit simplistic. My experience here, however, has been anything but. Only after reflection did I really notice that this summer has clearly come down to working hard and asking for opportunities.

If my internship at AppD has taught me anything so far, it’s given me a new perspective on my career as I enter my senior year of college. I’m no longer looking for a first job. I don’t want to just take whatever position comes with the highest salary. Instead, I want my first position to act as the launching point for my entire career. I will pursue an AppD culture; somewhere I can learn, expand my responsibilities and thrive. I want to live by the mantra, “If you’re the smartest person in the room then you’re in the wrong room.”

Finding a place where I can learn and grow as a young professional is now my #1 priority. Going forward I won’t look or ask for jobs, but opportunities to prove my potential and show the value I can add. Thank you to the AppDynamics team for providing me with a launching pad for my sales career.

I’ll end with the infamous words from GlennGary Glenn Ross and the ultimate sales lesson: Always Be Closing.

Abby Stratton is a rising senior at Northwestern University. She is originally from Excelsior, MN and is excited to apply the learnings from her summer internship as she pursues a career in technology sales.

Summer Internship Program at AppDynamics

The best learning experiences are hands-on experiences. That’s why at AppDynamics we invest so heavily in our summer internship program. We feel it’s important that college students and postgraduate students have opportunities to grow and expand.

This year we are fortunate to have 14 interns spending their summer with us. Their backgrounds include product management, software engineering, legal, sales, and customer success. So far their projects have had a positive impact on both our company as well as our community.

In this post we’ll look at some of the community activities our interns have participated in and some of the team building activities we kicked our summer off with to bring teams together! We’re sure some of these ideas will be useful to any other teams out there considering internship programs or brainstorming ideas for team activities.

Team building: Bay Voyager

As the interns started to arrive for their summer program, we wanted to break the ice to foster an environment of fun and trust. We enjoyed a beautiful cruise in the San Francisco bay on the Bay Voyager. We were incredibly lucky to have a sunny day on the water, lots of sea animal sightings, and great conversations about what was to come. What a great way to start the summer.

Volunteering: Glide Memorial Church

As a San Francisco-based company, we wanted our interns to give back to the community we call home. We made our way to Glide Memorial Church and served over 560 dinners to needy  individuals and families. Glide Memorial serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner 364 days a year with an average of 2,000 meals per day. The team had a great experience meeting members of the community and better understanding their needs.

Volunteering: Year Up

Year Up is a nonprofit that seeks to close the opportunity divide by providing low-income young adults with the skills, experience, and support to empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education. Our interns spent the afternoon helping Year Up students come up with and pitch a product idea (think Shark Tank). A panel of AppDynamics employees watched Year Up students and their intern mentors pitch products, give feedback, and decide on winners.

Leadership: Lean In

Our interns joined forces with other local interns to create and moderate a Lean In Circle, hosted at the AppDynamics office. Joan Hong and Shivani Mall partnered to create an environment where meaningful discussion and personal thoughts on leadership, empowerment, and insecurities could be shared. These Circles enable interns to meet each other, develop a network, and discuss issues surrounding women and diversity in the tech industry.

In our next post, we’ll share more details on the structure of our program, our goals for success, and some of the most significant outcomes we’ve seen from our interns this summer.

If you’re interested in technical and nontechnical internships, please check out our careers page in September for 2017-2018 openings — https://www.appdynamics.com/company/careers/

Don’t forget to check back in a couple weeks for more details on our summer internship program!