The goal of our internship program should be to have about 10 interns and hire 5 of them back every year—or at least get 5 of them to return at some point in their lives. Building from the bottom up is our best way of growing.

—Dialexa COO, Brad Bush.

If the only goal of an internship is to get a job, then Brad’s mindset alone would be enough to consider Dialexa. But an internship is so much more than that—at least it was for the 12 of us at Dialexa this summer.

After talking to all of the other interns, I found that there were really 6 common themes that helped us all get the most out of our experiences.

Whether you want to land a Dialexa internship or you’re looking somewhere else, keep these themes in mind if you want to truly enjoy and benefit from your time.

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1. Get Right into Real-World Work

Making copies. Running to get coffee. Filing papers. This is the kind of grunt work you might expect at an internship. But Dialexa made a point of making us feel like real employees. No grunt work, just real experiences.

From Day 1, we were introduced and welcomed as if we were full-time employees. We were given our computers, company email addresses, access to all Slack channels, and we were ready to go- jumping into client projects with the full-time team.

At other companies, it might take half the internship to be given the meaningful work and learning experience one might hope for. However, when it came to work at Dialexa, we all hit the ground running. Just look at Fatima (Software Engineering Intern from Lwaiza, Lebanon), who worked on an internal iOS app for tracking processes, sprints and bugs in client projects.

Having a full 10 weeks filled with real projects and relevant work, gave us the opportunity to prove ourselves and have a lasting impact on the company.

2. Company Culture Is Huge

Let’s just get one thing out of the way. I think I speak for all of the interns when I say having Dialexa provide all of our lunches, snacks of our choice, and drinks was not only awesome but much appreciated. I suppose the only negative, is the pounds we gained this summer. Aside from that, though, we enjoyed all of the benefits of full-time employees that make Dialexa so special. There are too many to list, but here are some of the things that make up the Dialexa culture:

  • Lunch and Learns(employees are willing to take their lunch breaks to give technical demonstrations and other open presentations)
  • Quarterly company trips, this time we went to Extreme Sandbox
  • Waffle Friday (someone brought in a waffle maker once, and all of a sudden we meet on Fridays for waffles)
  • Dialexa Innovates (time on Friday afternoons to work on personal projects)
  • Dialexa Labs 5-Minute Pitch (chance to pitch or collaborate on possible Dialexa Labs innovations)
  • Women of Dialexa
  • Book Club

“I think what’s most unique about the Dialexa culture is that when you walk around the office, you can’t tell what the hierarchy is. If anything, it reflects a mindset that we all play an equal role in our success.”—Paulina Kuo (Software Engineering Intern from Sequin, TX).

Company culture is an important thing to evaluate when searching for an internship. You want to know that you can form a tight-knit bond with the other interns, but deeper than that, you want to test if you fit into the culture of the company as a whole.

3. Interns Aren't Just Colleagues—We’re Friends

As a group of 12 interns, we didn’t just go to work everyday, say hi, and go home to our normal lives. Sitting together at a 9-foot long table forced us to quickly become close friends and also get together outside of work on a regular basis.

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Maybe the best example of our close connection is when we threw a surprise party for Jordan (Design Intern from Macon, GA) after he was recently hired full time. We couldn’t be happier for our friend Jordan and getting together to celebrate his success was meaningful.

You spend 60% of your waking time with the people you work with. Building that social bond is so important if you want to enjoy your job or internship. From swimming to grilling to ping-pong tournaments, we became lifelong friends.

4. Unique Projects Gave Us Well-Rounded Experience

Dialexa takes the “real work” theme to another level by giving interns truly unique projects to work on. Here are just a few examples:

  • Robin: Sam (Software Engineering Intern from Portland, OR) and Emily (Software Engineering Intern from Plano, TX) worked with Solutions Engineer, Ben Moore on this project. As their mentor, Ben says that the interns performed near or at a full-employee level as they worked to fix some of the development stack issues that others haven’t had time to get to.
  • Dialexa Innovates: Melanie (Engineering Intern from Houston, TX) took advantage of the Dialexa Innovates program to take on a fun project in her spare time. She learned how to 3D print and then made a much-needed Dirty/Clean indicator for our dishwasher.Engineering Intern-Dishwasher-Clean.jpgEngineering Intern Dishwasher-Dirty.jpg
  • VR Drone Simulator: Brennon (Engineering Intern from San Francisco, CA) worked on a demo for one of Dialexa’s virtual reality clients. They built a drone simulator for VR flight, not unlike our drone racetrack projects. (more to come on this in a future blog post)
  • 360-degree Video Editing: This is another example of how we were able to work on passion projects during our time at Dialexa. Adam (Sales Intern from Zulu, Indiana) worked on a 360-degree video editing project by taking a 360-degree camera to our Extreme Sandbox trip and put this video together.

(Note: You need to be on mobile to really experience the 360 degrees of awesome)

Not many interns can say they’ve had the opportunity to be entrusted on projects like these.

5. We Took the Time to Pick the Right Company

“Dialexa’s unique company culture stood out to me. I was really drawn to their relaxed, humble attitude. Having software, hardware, and design, all collaborating together was something that set them apart, and I felt that I could gain critical experience working closely with each field.”—Ryan (Design Intern from Dallas, TX)

Finding the right internship isn’t about applying to anything you come across online. Take the time to research a company like Ryan did and see if they’re really a good fit for you.

6. The Intern Group was Uniquely Diverse

Even our sales and marketing interns have some sort of technical background. But when you look at us as a group, you might be surprised to see so many women and international interns.

Like any industry that is predominantly caucasian males, working with other interns from all walks of life has gave us experience that we might never have gotten at another company. And the diversity of our group was also reflective of that which exists at Dialexa as a whole.

“The culture here at Dialexa is different than any other place I have ever worked. It feels so much more free. People just seem to be open to having fun.”—Nick (Engineering Intern from Memphis, TN).

You might think such a diverse workforce would create cliques. But this isn’t high school. At Dialexa, we all come together and learn from our individual unique backgrounds.

In the End, It’s All About Learning for Your Future

Throughout the internship program, Dialexa prides itself on a mentorship aspect that has prepared us for a future in this industry.

“The mentor process is the perfect way to get acquainted with Dialexa, the working ethos and have an easy outlet for any questions or problems that may arise”—Warren (Software Engineering Intern from Nazeing, England).

If you haven’t gotten the idea already, it’s safe to say that our time at Dialexa has been equally fun and valuable. We would be honored to continue our work with such an innovative company.

If you’re looking for the right internship, it’s hard to believe that you could find more value than we’ve found at Dialexa this summer.

** Note: Dialexa Internships go fast. Mark your calender to apply for summer internships during the fall of this year. **

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