Advice from an Intern
IT Thought Leadership

Advice from a VMware Intern

by: VMware Intern David Zarghamour

I am a summer 2021 digital marketing intern for the  VMware on VMware program, a group within IT that documents and promotes the deployment journeys of VMWare IT as early adopters of VMware products and services. I am entering my senior year at San Jose State University in Silicon Valley, majoring in business analytics. In my free time, I enjoy spending relaxing with family and friends, rollerblading, and going to the gym.

As part of my responsibilities, I was asked to blog about what it’s like to be an intern, so here’s my take:

Why an internship?

An internship provides value for many different reasons. For one, you can get real-world experience, which I believe is the most valuable outcome. It’s also important to try new things to find out what really excites you about the business world, and an internship provides that, too. A bonus is, unlike a ‘regular’ summer job, an internship can potentially position you for a full-time role upon graduation. Depending on the company, department and role, interns may sometimes act as a recruiting pool.

What to look for in an internship

When I was looking for possible internships, there were a few aspects I looked for. I would ask myself, “Does this sound interesting to me?” I would then do external research on the company culture. What does the company value? Do current employees enjoy working for the company? What type of events and programs do they provide for interns?

VMware stood out to me for many different reasons. The first of those was that I was impressed with the company in general as I saw them as leaders in digital transformation. I also am someone that greatly values culture. Numerous data points proved that VMware takes care of its employees and interns in all aspects. For example, the “Why VMware?” page got me excited to actively pursue an internship so I could be a part of an innovative company that is empowering its employees.

What I learned through my internship experience

This is my third internship, and I have learned a significant number of things along the way. The first of these is to speak up. Even though you are an intern, your colleagues don’t see you like one (which can be a good or bad thing). Personally, I like to be seen as one of them. When in meetings or brainstorming events, make your voice heard as in many cases your team is looking for a new set of eyes and ideas. After presenting an idea, the worst that has happened to me was that they said, “No, it wouldn’t work.”

Another tip is always to think, “How can be sure I‘m providing value?” Your role as an intern, has many aspects to it. One being receiving value and the other giving value. The way that I measure if I am providing value is by asking myself, “With me here, am I making someone’s job easier?”

The third and final tip I would offer is don’t be afraid to ask questions. As an intern, you are there to learn and grow. Even full-time employees are continuously learning about the company and its offerings. It is an ongoing learning process that comes with time. Depending on what the question is, I will sometimes do some research of my own to see if I can find the answer. If I can’t, I don’t hesitate to reach out to someone else. Even if that person doesn’t know the answer, he or she can connect you to someone who might.

Securing an internship at VMware

There are a lot of programs and ways you can find yourself here at VMware. The first thing, which is true of all internships, is to apply. I understand that it can sometimes be intimidating with bigger companies, but you never really know what can happen. Have faith in your skills, experience, passion, and interests because these are great reasons to secure an interview. You also want to make sure you have a general idea of what the company does. That’s why I spent time on the VMware website, including this Learn More link that provided me with a great overview of VMware products. But I didn’t stop there. I found it invaluable to examine VMware social channels to understand the company’s ‘personality.’ While analyzing the site and social channels, I also thought of ideas that could be implemented, as well as questions I could ask in the interview.

A group of people smilingDescription automatically generated with medium confidence
A lunch meeting with VMware on VMware colleagues.

When in the interview process at VMware, just like any interview, be yourself. The recruiter and the team members are looking at your skillset and how well you will fit within not only the culture of the company, but within the team. I have noticed that when I am authentically myself, I have more engaged and interesting conversations that become helpful, especially during an interview. With my internship at VMware, I went through three rounds of interviews before I received an offer, although that number can vary depending on which department you apply for.

My Personal Experience

After you secure an internship, one piece of advice is to not be afraid to ask questions and take risks. As discussed, our role as interns is to be curious about everything, don’t be afraid of asking, “Why?” In some cases, you might find no answer, which opens a world of opportunities. 

As interns, we are in a great position to learn because everyone is willing to set time aside and answer any questions you might have. 

If you have any questions about my journey or want to connect, you can reach me at dzarghampour@vmware.com or connect with me on LinkedIn

VMware on VMware blogs are written by IT subject matter experts sharing stories about our digital transformation using VMware products and services in a global production environment. Contact your sales rep or vmwonvmw@vmware.com to schedule a briefing on this topic. Visit the VMware on VMware microsite and follow us on Twitter.   

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