When Is an Intern Not an Intern?

When Is an Intern Not an Intern?

It’s hard to put to words the level of awesomeness it was working at Black Duck Software, so I’ll paint a picture instead (as you know a picture is worth a thousand words). The day of my interview, after a small debacle of trying to find 800 District Ave, I pulled the glass doors open and trekked upstairs and what I saw threw me a bit.

Interview Jitters

My heart was pounding because of interview jitters, but when I was buzzed in, the jitters halted at once. The entrance to Black Duck Software was my favorite blue and there were so many decorations everywhere it resembled the entry way to a pediatrician’s office (in a good way). Since it was October, there were pumpkins and ducks everywhere and lots of Halloween decorations dangling from the ceiling. I waited for my interview sitting next to a plastic skeleton (also dressed for an interview), as one does.

As you may have surmised, my interview was (thankfully) successful and I was hired for a Marketing Co-op (internship) position. Initially, I was nervous because my previous job was much less hands on and more focused on bigger picture projects. Black Duck made it clear that the position was extremely hands on and you would leave the job with countless skills and tools; this meant the intern would have to learn said skills and tools. Despite being nervous about that, I ended up with more skills than I can keep track of — and some awesome work experience. 

Workplace, Employees and Culture

The workplace greatly resembles the employees and vice versa: fun, relaxed, welcoming and bold. There are vibrant colors and decorations throughout the office (there isn’t a corner of the office where you won’t find a rubber duck). The people are the embodiment of the phrase “work hard, play hard.” Everyone is clearly passionate about their job and loves what they do; this attitude is incredibly infectious and inspirational. Not only that, but they are fully serious about not treating an intern like an intern.

Build Your Future with Black Duck

The first day of my internship I got access to all the marketing tools as if I was a full-hire employee. Not only that — I got tasks that were impactful to both the marketing team and the company, which was a great incentive for me to do my best and work hard. My managers also listened to what my interests are. I was upfront about the skills I wanted to work on in my interview and the marketing team made sure that those were the areas I was given most of my work. If you are very clear about your goals and express interest in an area of work, the marketing team will let you get experience in that area, which is probably the best part of the internship. You can focus on whatever you are interested in.

Gaining Skills

I ended up doing work that ranged from making social media graphics using Photoshop to fulfilling all the logistics for a tradeshow and running a On Demand M&A mailing campaign. Don’t get me wrong, there will always be “intern” work, but that’s just more experience that allows you to understand and respect the full scope of the job better. I did end up listening to a lot of podcasts during the particularly monotonous tasks. But those tasks were few and far between.

Hands On, Impactful Work

WaffleWednesday2.jpgThis internship is an amazing opportunity to get lots of hands on experience. Black Duck is still growing, which means it’s a great chance to get to do a lot of impactful work and figure out what you want to do in the long term. I can’t possibly express how much I loved my time here. It is a rare and wonderful thing to find a job that you’re excited to go to every morning, and this job allowed me to experience that feeling (and I was only in an intern position!). Besides all the skill building and Waffle Wednesdays, what truly made this internship a gem were the people. I don’t know if that’s clear yet, but I’ll say it again, there are wonderful people here at Black Duck and that’s truly what makes this job incredible. As long as you’re open about what you want to learn, willing to work hard (and overtime sometimes!) and thoughtful, you’ll have an amazing time here. I envy the next Marketing Intern!

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