One of Zebra's 2020 summer interns shows off her #WFH setup.
By Monica Kielawa | July 30, 2020

Ask the (Zebra Intern) Experts: What’s It Like to Kick Off a New Career Completely Virtually?

A data scientist, supply chain planner, nursing informatics expert, channel operations manager, information systems technician and marketer tell us how they have adapted to working a full 12-week internship from home.

Today we are celebrating National Intern Day in the United States, and the occasion is especially momentous here at Zebra!

Ninety-four college students are nearing the end of their 12-week summer internship program, with some preparing to head back (or should we say, log back in) to school and others making plans to enter the workforce full time. That’s right. We did it. We integrated our first-ever virtual intern class into Zebra Nation at a time when many companies were cancelling internships – and we did so quite successfully by all intents and standards.

Though most of the summer has been spent in pajamas and on Zoom meetings, all of our interns have been able to fully integrate into the day-to-day culture of Zebra and provide fresh perspective to their respective teams. In fact, as you’ll hear in a moment, they have actually experienced an influx of “hands-on learning” opportunities from their teams, Zebra’s executive leaders and the Early Careers team even though they have been separated by hundreds, if not thousands, of miles. Whether interacting through lunch social hours or innovation challenge team meetings, these Zebras have truly embraced their circumstances for the best.

Of course, it would be unfair to say that everything has been smooth sailing. This was our first time hosting interns completely virtually, and many of us within Zebra Nation are still adjusting to working remotely ourselves. However, it has been clear that the interns have gained some unique skills that will surely help with their future career development despite – or, perhaps, thanks to – the ups and downs that come with the #WFH life.

Since many other companies have been watching to see if our virtual internship program would work, and many college students may still be wary about participating in a virtual internship, we thought we would ask some experts to analyze the program’s impact.

See what six of Zebra’s 2020 summer interns had to say about their experience thus far, and hear their advice to anybody who is considering applying for a virtual internship in the future:

Inside Zebra Nation,
Monica Kielawa
Monica Kielawa

Monica Kielawa is currently the Early Careers Program Manager, North America Talent Acquisition at Zebra Technologies where she is responsible for leading, developing and building creative and robust University Relations programming for Zebra in the United States.

During her almost three years with Zebra, Monica has worked on multiple cross organizational key strategic projects related to Talent Attraction, Employee Value Proposition, Recruitment Marketing, and Inclusion & Diversity.

In her free time, Monica mentors first generation students by guiding them into selecting their future universities, adapting to life on campus and positioning themselves for the workforce after graduation. She also volunteers and spreads awareness for Chiari Malformation #chiaristrong.