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Meet HashiCorp’s boomerang interns

Hear from four Hashi-interns who have spent more than one summer with the company.

Internships are a great way to retain top talent. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, interns are 16% more likely to to stay with the company they interned with than those who interned elsewhere. But what happens when an intern comes to work for a company not just for one summer, but two summers?

To find out, we asked four returning Hashi-interns about why they chose to come back to work with us and how HashiCorp is helping them gain real-world experience and skills.

HashiCorp Interns

From left to right:

  • Kelly McCarthy: Solutions Engineer I, Williams College
  • Machi Dima: People Team Generalist Intern, University of Washington
  • Madeline Mallory: Sales Program Coordinator Intern, University of Colorado
  • Sonya Pieklik: Solutions Engineer I, University of Texas

Many students try to obtain internships with multiple companies. How do you feel returning for a second summer with HashiCorp benefited your career progression?

Kelly McCarthy: I think my two internships with HashiCorp benefitted my career progression because it allowed me to explore two potential occupations (Inside Sales and Solutions Engineering) within the same company environment and working with the same set of tools. In addition, my first internship was remote, while my second summer was spent in-person at HashiCorp’s Austin office.

Machi Dima: Returning allowed me to develop a broader understanding of how different departments collaborate, especially because I interned with two different teams. During my second internship, I was able to strengthen existing relationships and develop a more extensive professional network. I even had the chance to present my projects to executive leaders and have regular meetings with them while helping plan an important offsite event. These connections have been incredibly valuable to me as many of the execs have offered career guidance.

Madeline Mallory: I think students intern with multiple different companies in order to gain experience from different aspects of a company. But I feel that returning to HashiCorp for a second summer helped me learn more than I could have at a second internship with a different company. Interning at HashiCorp let me try different things, be exposed to different programs, and learn from a variety of people. It also shows the growth potential of working at HashiCorp. I feel that returning to HashiCorp for a second internship significantly benefited my career progression and has enabled me to see where my career is headed in the future.

Sonya Pieklik: Returning to HashiCorp for a second summer was one of the best choices I made for my future career. As a returning intern, I already knew the team and the products that I would be working with, as well as the day-to-day activities of a Solutions Engineer. This gave me the opportunity to help other interns onboard more quickly. Being a second-year intern gave me the opportunity to act as a leader. Before interning at HashiCorp, I had interned at a couple of other companies. While I had a great time, it was difficult to make much of an impact in a few short months. Returning to HashiCorp helped me fine tune my technical skills and prepare for a full-time position.

How do your experiences from your first and second summers compare?

Kelly: During my first summer, I was a Sales Development Representative intern and learned how they partnered with Solutions Engineering teams. The following summer, I switched roles to intern as a Solutions Engineer. What I believe was most beneficial was the appreciation and understanding I gained from seeing both occupations. I observed how they operate independently while simultaneously supporting one another. It really helped shed light on the team aspect of sales. I am looking forward to joining that team and continuing to learn and grow my career at HashiCorp.

Machi: My first internship as a Recruiting Coordinator Intern with the Early Career team allowed me to further develop my organizational, communication, and time-management skills. My second internship as a People Team Generalist intern, I supported both the DE&I and the Communications Directors. It has been extremely valuable for my career. It allowed me to develop a broader skill set and gain insights into creating inclusive initiatives and fostering diversity within the workplace, while also exposing me to content creation, event planning, and effective communication strategies. Handling the challenges of supporting two teams pushed me out of my comfort zone, leading to significant personal growth. I learned to adapt quickly, manage my time efficiently, and prioritize tasks effectively.

Madeline: The greatest differences between my first and second internships was switching from working in the office to being fully remote, and from a Customer Success Manager intern role into a Program Coordinator intern role. While working in person made it easier to collaborate with teammates and meet colleagues, remote work helped improve my problem-solving skills. With no one sitting right next to you, there’s more incentive to take a few extra steps to answer your own questions.

Sonya: I had the privilege of being part of HashiCorp’s first cohort of interns, which was exciting because we were able to help build out the expectations and learning paths for future interns. I was also given the opportunity to work alongside Solutions Engineers and work with beta products.

My second year allowed me to learn more about emerging products such as HashiCorp Packer, and also go more in depth with the products that I already knew, like HashiCorp Terraform. My first summer was all remote, but for my second summer, the SE intern team worked out of the Austin office, which was a fantastic experience as I was able to meet the other interns, the SE team, and collaborate in person.

What are some benefits to working at the same company twice?

Kelly: One of the biggest benefits is familiarity with the people, which really helped me transition to the in-person internship experience. Colleagues who I had met virtually in my first internship were there to welcome me aboard during my first week, which helped me get acclimated quickly. My biggest piece of advice, regardless of whether you intend to return to a company for a second summer or not, is to meet as many people as you can. Every person that you work with has a unique set of experiences and skills that you can learn from.

Machi: Working with the DE&I team was an incredible experience because it allowed me to actively participate in organizing workshops and collaborate with all the employee resource groups (ERGs). It was an opportunity for me to contribute to promoting inclusivity through content creation. On the other hand, my time with the Comms team allowed me to make meaningful contributions in event planning. I'm really passionate about building my career in either HR or communications, and both my summers were instrumental in shaping my career goals. Having hands-on experience in both areas is going to make me a much more well-rounded and competitive candidate when I start looking for future job opportunities.

Madeline: One of the biggest benefits of being a returning intern is the ability to continue building on the relationships that you have already established with people at the company. When returning to a company, you’re already familiar with the way things work. This eliminates the introduction period when starting to work with a new boss or team, and enabling interns to hit the ground running.

Sonya: Being a returning intern can shorten the onboarding experience. Having a stronger grasp on processes, product knowledge, and client needs going in can give interns a sturdier launchpad. Returning can also help interns build better rapport with their team as well as with partnering teams. It also shows loyalty and commitment to the organization.

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