“You know how mama eagles train their babies to fly? They throw them out of the nest. If they aren’t able to spread their wings to fly, the mother catches them before they crash and repeats the process until the baby is able to fly. That’s what the internship is like. You feel like you’re being pushed out of the nest but the internship program is the hand that catches you and prepares you to fly,” said Nelly in our recent interview focused on Liferay interns who have stayed to become full-time employees.
Why did Nelly decide to stay at Liferay? According to her, it really came down to the people, the culture, and the experience that are unlikely to be found at any other company.
Take it from the author of this blog, who started out as an intern. I, along with a few of our other team members, also began our journey at Liferay as interns.
Life at Liferay (as an Intern!)
The heart of our mission at Liferay is the desire to help people and organizations reach their full potential; one way we do this is by investing in young talent at the start of their career. During their time at Liferay, interns are given the opportunity to gain hands-on experience, learn practical life and workplace skills, and bond with professionals across the globe.
We want to see our interns succeed and “fly,” whether that’s here, at Liferay, or another organization. So, we’ve designed various internship programs across our international offices that will prepare them for the journey ahead.
Summer 2021 interns at our Los Angeles office.
What’s Different at Liferay?
To help our interns reach their full potential, they are paired with a mentor and guided through a tailored program so that they can complete impactful projects.
For example in our North America global services (GS) team, one of our longest standing intern programs, interns learn how to deliver custom frontend solutions. Interns spend the first half of their internship learning how to develop on the Liferay platform. Each training and presentation is to help prepare the interns to work together on an internal project from start to finish, during the second half of the program.
Ricky--an associate consultant who started as an intern--loved getting to work on an internal project with his fellow interns. “The three of us [GS interns] got ample opportunity to hangout, work together, and grow together. It was really fun trying to figure things out together, get feedback, and produce something of value.”
“This collaborative environment was different from any other internship I had,” Austin, another consultant who started as an intern, told me. “Most companies don’t give you an opportunity to contribute to something that you can make an impact on.”
Our first virtual internship program in 2020.
In our marketing department, interns are included in campaign execution and present from ideation to post-launch reporting, learning how to create content, generate ads, and curate social media posts.
Below the equator, our Brazil office offers two different types of internship programs to help students gain a more comprehensive development experience. “We see the intern as a key member of our teams and want them to be successful wherever they go,” says LATAM HR Manager, Leyla Ferreira.
Interns get to work with our frontend and backend teams, support QA, collaborate with designers, and expand their cultural borders by working with teams across Latin America, North America, and Spain.
2021 interns at our Brazil office.
The Heart of Liferay
But throughout my different conversations with these Liferayers, there’s a common thread I’ve uncovered: all agree that there’s something unique about working at Liferay— there’s a culture here that’s unlikely to be found anywhere else.
“During my research into the company, I discovered how Liferay leadership was not just about making a profit, but is also about using the profits to help their employees and the communities they're in. That company value aligned with my personal value of helping others, so I knew that Liferay was a company that I wanted to work for,” says Kayleen, an intern who came in with very little programming experience and has grown into one of our senior consultants on the team.
Ricky also echoed this sentiment. “Liferay really communicated a unified message to its employees that they had a vision of being larger than profit and empowering the communities it serves through donations and volunteer hours. That was something I wanted to be a part of.”
Empowering communities not only happens outside of Liferay, but within. Many employees who were once interns, including Austin and Nelly, return to become internship mentors later to continue serving these incoming students.
As for me, this heart of service, both within the company and out, is really what drew me in as an intern. In every team, there’s no shortage of passion, humility, and warmth. It’s what compelled me to stay as a member of the marketing team for the last 2 years and to continue working alongside some of the best people.
Playing virtual games with some of our 2021 interns.
Investing for the Long-Term
While interns might only be at Liferay for a short period of time, the skills they’ve acquired during their internships will propel them to their next growth point, both personally and professionally. For many of our interns, they don’t fly too far from the nest, myself included.
Nelly and our other interns who have stayed to become consultants with our Global Services team help develop digital experience solutions for our customers, still leveraging much of the foundation that was laid when they were interns. In fact, one of our sales members from Brazil, Lucas, has said that he is now better equipped to serve customers in his current role because of the groundwork that was laid during his time as an intern, working with different teams and understanding our products. Much can happen within just three months. At Liferay, interns can learn how to develop on a new platform, pick up LinkedIn and interview skills, and build relationships with new friends. But in just three months, they’re really building the foundation for a long-term career.