05.07.20 / Employees (COVID-19)

Samsung’s Virtual Summer Internship Readies Next-Gen Workforce for New Era

Talking Points

  • Samsung Electronic America’s 2020 Summer Internship Program is going virtual.
  • Fifty-seven undergrad and graduate students – the most diverse class yet – will join Samsung June 15th for a new, innovative summer experience.
  • The 8-week program includes an intern project, a group project to address critical business needs, a corporate social responsibility activity, and learning and development opportunities.

This summer, interns across the United States are entering the workforce at a time of dynamic change and will get to experience the reinvention of job functions and new ways of working. While Samsung’s employees have already made remote workplace adjustments, our University Relations (UR) team has been working hard behind the scenes to adapt the forthcoming internship program for a resilient future.

Samsung’s internship program has been consistently ranked as one of America’s best by WayUp and Glassdoor. For 2020, the 8-week summer initiative has gone virtual. It will include a project-specific to the intern’s role in a variety of function areas, learning and development opportunities through remote executive lunch and learns, a corporate social responsibility activity, and a final group presentation to the CEO and other leaders.

This summer, Samsung is welcoming one of its most diverse intern classes yet. Twenty-nine colleges and universities are represented and 54% of Samsung’s intern class is female. A broad range of roles was offered – from engineering to product marketing to data analytics and insight— and this intern class is bringing a wide range of skills and experiences to the organization.

Anu Bygari, a first-year MBA student at Yale School of Management, shared her thoughts on the shift to a virtual program. “I’ve come to appreciate even more the experiences and joy made possible by the wonders of modern virtual reality, and am incredibly grateful that the internship program was not canceled. The UR team has been helpful, insightful, communicative, diligent and kind every step of the way.”

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Bygari will be remotely joining the Samsung XR team in Mountain View, California. She added, “The opportunity to learn from the best and brightest in this space — and hopefully contribute this summer in a very modest fashion – is an absolute dream and privilege that is not lost on me. I look forward to digging in!”

The UR team has already been engaging the incoming intern class by asking them how they’re staying busy while wrapping up their school year from home and how they have set up their workspace for the summer.

  • To stay well, Qanitah Khalid, a rising senior at the University of Texas - Dallas, has started a number of projects during this time. One is a scrapbook of photos, postcards, maps, tickets, and more that she has collected over the years from family and friends, and her travels.
  • Aliza Niewood, who is pursuing her MBA at New York University – Stern, is staying mentally healthy right now by cooking for and eating meals with her family. Recently, she made sweet potato stuffed tortellini with a sage brown butter sauce.

Meanwhile, Reginald Anokwuru, a rising senior at Texas Tech University, is looking forward to beginning his internship on June 15th. When asked what his thoughts were on the pivot to a virtual program, he said: “This is an opportunity to learn new skills, which is one of the most important things for me right now.”Anokwuru is working towards his Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering. He will be joining the operations team in Samsung’s Plano, Texas office this summer. “I’m imagining a lot of activities through video chat and working together through that tool. I don’t feel communication will be lacking and that there will be plenty of networking opportunities.”

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With the move to an all-virtual program, Samsung asked New Jersey-based Mike Babbar, Director and Head of Mobile Care Strategy, and an experienced intern hiring manager, for some thoughts on how teams and interns can work successfully via virtual communication. The majority of Babbar’s team is scattered across the U.S. and has been working remotely for over a month and a half, so he is no stranger to fostering virtual team building and driving workforce effectiveness. Here are some key takeaways:

How will the shift to virtual impact the internship program?

The mission of the program will not change. We aim to provide students with a real-world experience that complements their academic studies. But the current circumstances will change how we engage with our interns daily. Everything will have a virtual component to it, including virtual check-ins, which will be more important than ever before.

How are you planning to ensure that your intern’s experience is meaningful?

One of the most valuable parts of an internship is observing and immersing oneself into the company culture. It’s exciting to work for Samsung and we want to empower our interns to dive right into the action, especially from a mobile care perspective where we devise winning strategies that make an impact on customer satisfaction and engagement. It’s going to be more important than ever to prioritize training and development, as well as acclimate our interns by inviting them to participate in virtual company events and meetings. So, much like mobile care, engagement is key.

What tips do you have for the incoming intern class?

My team went through a virtual etiquette process for our Webex meetings. I recommend that they read up on some do’s and don’ts, like being aware of your surroundings and muting the microphone when you’re not talking. Beyond that, I encourage the interns to tap their fresh, diverse perspectives and bring bold, creative ideas to the table.

“As an important part of our recruiting strategy, we’re thrilled to reimagine the summer internship program. Our program feeds intellectual curiosity and cultivates critical thinking skills in next-gen professionals,” said Julie Montrose, Samsung’s University Relations and Rotational Programs Manager. “Day in and day out at Samsung, we’re asked to harness innovation and embrace disruption in everything we do. This is an opportunity to showcase how resilient, creative and agile our organization truly is.”

Samsung looks forward to welcoming its 2020 summer intern class on June 15th.

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