I really enjoyed my virtual internship. I was working on interesting and current problems. The work I was given was meaningful and challenging which allowed me to learn a lot and add something new to the business. Apart from the main project I was working on we had weekly "Leadership Series" where we had a chance to meet senior leaders at Expedia and "Intern Learning Series" which mostly focused on developing our soft skills. We also had weekly virtual socials with other interns.
I felt valued during my internship because I was trusted from the start to do my job. I was given the space to make decision about my project along the way and my comments were valued by my manager. I also felt valued as I was given an important project to work on which was truly important to the business and the results of my work where shared across other teams and were received with interest,
There was plenty of support available. I had catch-ups with my manager 2-3 times a week and a weekly catch-up with my buddy. On top of that I had additional meetings with my manager, my buddy or other team members whenever there was a need. The Early Careers Team was very supportive as well. Every intern intern had an individual meeting with an Early Careers Team member few weeks into the internship to make sure everyone settled in well. There was also technical support available at hand to help sort out any technical problems.
I've learnt a lot during my internship although only a part of that will assist me in my further studies. What will be most useful in terms of my final year of university will be the R skills I developed during the internship as I worked in R nearly every day. Having said that, what I've learnt about SQL, machine learning and data analytics will be definitely useful once I start working as well the presentation skills I developed.
The internship was well structured. We were given information at the beginning about the program for the internship so we knew what to expect. The information about the final presentation was sent to all the interns a few weeks after we started and the expectations were set early on. Before the internship even started we were sent a project description and we had a chance to meet our managers where we learnt about what we would be working on.
The atmosphere was really good. Everyone was very friendly and happy to help all throughout the internship. The atmosphere was more informal than what could be expected from a corporate environment. During the internship all interns had a chance to meet senior leaders during the "Leadership Series" including the CEO. Apart from being a great opportunity to learn more about the business it showed the importance of interns to Expedia and made everyone fell welcomed and valued.
In the first two weeks there were multiple boot camp sessions organised covering topics such as writing clean code, machine learning & data science, A/B Testing and more. Later during the internship interns personal development was supported through "Intern Leaning Series" which covered topics such as emotional intelligence, diversity & inclusion and many more. Moreover, before the final presentation there was a training session organised about how to prepare a good presentation and about presentation skills.
I had a chance to learn more about what it would be like working at Expedia full time through joining team meetings and learning about different projects people were working on. I also met all the team members individually which allowed me to see their perspectives on working at Expedia. However, the project I was given was a bit separate from what other team members were working on and it was an individual project so I didn't have many opportunities to experience working in a team.
The internship was crucial in helping me decide my future career path. The project I worked on had both Data Science and Data Analytics parts which allowed me to experience both and see which would be a better fit for me. Through completing one big project I had a chance to experience what it feels like to work as data scientist/ data analyst which allowed me to make an informed decision about what career path I want to follow.
I was paid a competitive salary which was higher than the salary I was often previously when doing an internship at an insurance firm. If the internship was not virtual all interns would be paid a relocation lump sum to cover the costs of moving for the summer. However, this was removed when the internship was moved to a remote one. All interns were sent laptops to work on so no further expenses where needed and the shipment of the equipment was paid both way by the company.
There was plenty of opportunities for networking and meeting other employees. Firstly, I had a chance to meet all my team members in the first couple weeks. Secondly, I had a chance to meet senior leaders at Expedia during the "Leadership Series" including Expedia's CEO. Moreover, I had a chance to meet people from other teams to consult them in terms of my project and to learn more about their work. Everyone as Expedia is happy to meet new people and it's very easy to set up a meeting even with more senior employees.
The social opportunities were limited due to virtual nature of the internship. However, we had a weekly social for all the interns which was organised by the social committee chosen from the interns cohort. We also had an intern lunch every Friday. During the socials we played games such as Scribble, Werewolf, online card games, GeoGuesser etc. Even though online socials can't replace in person meeting it was still good to have them in place.
Not very applicable considering the virtual environment.
I would definitely recommend this internship to a friend. It's a great learning opportunity with interesting, meaningful projects given to interns. There's plenty support and there are various training sessions offered. In the first few weeks there were tech boot camp sessions organised to bring everyone up to speed and throughout the internship there various sessions offered allowing interns to meet senior leader and develop their soft skills. The atmosphere at Expedia is great and everyone here is happy to help.
26th August 2020