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Intern Voices: My Mentor is Better than your Mentor

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Note from the blog manager: At Intel, our interns are paired with a mentor or ‘buddy’ to guide them during their internship experience. Mentors are often found to inspire interns to challenge themselves in their work while building their confidence during their development. Mentors encourage networking and expose interns to different perspectives and experiences. Check out what our interns have to say about their mentors!

Sam, Printed Circuit Board Test and Development Intern, Oregon State University

Sam_Jill-thumb-400x300Since starting my MECOP, Multiple Engineering Cooperative Program, internship at Intel in April, Jill’s advice has been invaluable. As a former MECOP intern, she had no trouble relating to my concerns. The best piece of advice Jill has given me so far was to take advantage of every opportunity I could find. As a new intern, I was hesitant to explore everything Intel had to offer. However, Jill reassured me that Intel encouraged employees to take time out to participate in career development seminars, educational classes, and great place to work events. Taking this advice to heart, I have begun devouring these chances! In just three short months, some of Intel’s finest speakers have changed my perspective on both Intel’s future and my own. Health experts have changed the way I eat and feel. Intel Learning Network has taught me the fundamentals of Visual Basic for Applications programming. Great Place to Work has provided entertainment ranging from the Portland Winterhawks to the Portland Baroque Orchestra. Together, these experiences have taken my internship from “good experience”, to “life changing experience”. Without Jill’s advice, I might never have ventured out of my cube.

Miguel, Business Analyst Intern, Arizona State University

Interestingly enough, I met my buddy way before I even physically met my manager. Right on Day 1 after NEO, I headed to my cube and my white board had a 1:1 for 2 pm with this guy named Sean. Little did I know that he would be my buddy/mentor for a good 14 months now (over multiple internships at Intel). The fact that he was a college grad himself, having worked for Intel for three years, benefitted the discussions we would have. Our weekly 1:1 conversations would range anywhere from career development as a young employee, work life balance, and random things like unique vacation spots or grad school rankings! Despite all of the meetings we have had, the one thing that I continue to apply today is his advice on ‘stakeholder management.’ In order to drive home projects I was in charge of, I needed to align and actively manage all of its moving pieces—internal customers, developers, senior management, and end-users. He explained that if I fail to do so, requirements will not be satisfied and I would run into trouble. Without expounding too much, this single piece of advice was key in my success here at Intel.

Austin, Concurrency Development Intern, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

O5bTmh-thumb-400x300When I first arrived at Intel I was certainly overwhelmingly excited, yet the butterflies of intimidation stirred softly within my stomach. I feel the greatest enhancement for my internship derivative of Nick, my mentor, comes from his ability to soften the magnanimity of Intel Corporation towards a personalized and personal experience. Under his tutelage a silent confidence fosters, providing the strength to boldly approach the weighty task of contributing towards the development of a multi-million dollar project, and completely squashing those soft flutters. When I confronted him with trepidations concerning the pace at which I was progressing, he first laughed and commented that relative to their expectations I was moving “at Mach 4”; but he calmly quelled my fears by detailing how it was important to establish my own metric while still fulfilling my duties. The picture I have nominated embodies this spirit well, shot during the construction of the Grand Canyon within my manager’s cubicle. We both intently paint with an engineer’s commitment, and still shine with friendly pride.

Liz, Business Group Human Resources Intern, University of California, Los Angeles

Buddy Photo2-thumb-400x300I’m a Business Group Human Resources intern and my buddy, Amy, is simply the BEST. Whether she is explaining different acronyms to me, getting me up to speed on the changes being made in Intel and how they relate to us, or coaching me on how to help managers with whatever questions they may have, Amy is always ready to help me whenever I need it. Not only does she provide guidance, but she also knows how to make every day fun and entertaining! Knowing I can go to Amy whenever I have a concern has allowed me to become comfortable transitioning into this internship and integrating with my team - my buddy has proved essential in making my experience at Intel even more positive.

Ryan, Component Design Engineer Intern, Purdue University

hardik_and_I-thumb-400x298My mentor, Hardik, has really jumpstarted me into a role where I’m doing valuable work. Within my first week at Intel, I was learning what role I would be filling during my internship and the basic workings of the cluster I’d be working on. My second week, I began learning how to run tests so I could assist with the design validation process. By my third week here, I felt that I had a solid grasp on what I would need to succeed. I’ve been working at Intel for a full month now, and at every step I’m collaborating with Hardik to complete tasks. As I’m here for longer and longer, my work continues to expand to encompass new responsibilities. For his help along the way, and for much more, I owe Hardik my thanks.

Oliver, Software Engineer Intern, Georgia College & State University

For the whole month and a half I have been an intern at Intel so far, my buddy has helped me grow tremendously as an individual, a professional, and a developer. One thing he taught me that really sticks out occurred within the first two weeks of being here. I was tasked with developing in a technology I was not yet too familiar with. Many of the problems I had I knew he could teach me within a minute or two. Instead of me constantly asking him questions and having him explain the solutions to me, my buddy instead wanted me to figure them out on my own. At first, I didn’t understand the reasoning behind taking a lot of time to figure out an answer on my own when someone could tell me in a quick amount of time. By the end of the task, however, I had found out. By searching for a solution to a problem someone knows, it may take more time, but you learn a ton in the process. During the course of trying to learn one thing to help you solve your problem, you’ll learn 100 other things, all of which could help you later on. In doing so, you expand your knowledge of the subject by a lot. Along with the large amount of new knowledge I had obtained, I had also been given a great piece of advice. Needless to say, I’m excited that I still have half my internship to go to learn even more from my buddy and the many other great minds at Intel.

Zoe, HR Intern, Portland State University

Zoe_Cheryl-thumb-400x310I met my buddy, Cheryl, on my first day here at Intel; she greeted me with a warm smile and was an immediate resource. The process of starting a new job is always a little stressful as you start to get acclimated and create a routine. She made the transition as painless as possible, I felt comfortable asking any kind of question, from how do I use the printer? To can you clarify the expectations for my project? Cheryl had fairly recently switched into our group, so some things were new to her as well. It was so refreshing to be able to learn new things together, help each other out and combine forces. I truly felt, even after my first day, as though I had made my first friend at Intel. As time has passed we have created a perfectly balanced relationship between business and pleasure. Cheryl makes my job fun, not only with her humor and positivity but her ability to turn any obligation into an exciting extracurricular activity too. For example we were asked donate fabric at a conference; I’ve never had so much fun mixing and matching fleece at Joann’s! I do believe it is essential to have an authoritative managerial-employee relationship in the workplace, but having a buddy to start out with was the ideal steppingstone. On a day-to-day basis my buddy has taught me more than any single co-worker or classroom ever has, she enhances my hands on experiences here at Intel and promotes the progression of my career and a successful future. Thanks for being awesome Cheryl! You’ve added so much to this amazing experience, it wouldn’t be the same without you!

If these intern stories have piqued your interest, then check out our Student Center andinternship programs!

Intel has internship programs around the world, so be sure to check out the Student Center to learn about available Intel Intern programs in your area.