Interns are fundamental to a company’s growth, bringing drive, determination, and fresh ideas to a business. Likewise, an intern gets a lot from the experience, in the form of connections, learning, and the opportunity to “test-drive” the industry and company they intern for.
WeWork highly values our interns—in fact, many of our employees start out as interns. They come from a variety of backgrounds to join the sales, community, and software engineering teams in 10 cities across the U.S. To celebrate National Intern Day, we asked four former WeWork interns who’ve gone on to work full-time for the company to reflect on their internship experiences and the impact the program made on their career.
Finding the right role
A successful internship starts with the right fit. Charlie Solomon had previously interned in the coworking industry in Israel, and studied international business, management, and real estate at the University of Florida. So when an opportunity to intern on the sales team at WeWork 53 Beach St in New York came around, he took it. Over the past three years, his role has evolved to a permanent role as a leasing manager.
Joining the product team right after the pandemic, Shreya Srikanth saw WeWork as a well-positioned product in a world that needed more flexibility. “I loved the product and thought it had a lot of growth potential—I knew I could learn a lot being part of it.” She is now a senior lead of project management add-ons.
Sabine Andre’s first introduction to WeWork was through an internship the previous summer based out of a WeWork office. Finishing up her junior year studying marketing, an internship on WeWork’s community team looked like the perfect mix of a hospitality and customer-facing role. Following her internship, she’s now a program coordinator on the WeWork All Access team.
At the time he was interviewing for jobs, Louis Fevola was working in retail. He was excited to get versatile experience on the community team, which combines operations, event planning, and hospitality into one role. During his internship, Fevola was based at one of the busiest WeWork locations, WeWork 1460 Broadway in New York, where he had the opportunity to engage with hundreds of WeWork members on a daily basis. Since then, he became a full-time community manager, and then made the move to the marketing department as a senior associate, digital marketing.
“I wasn’t treated like an intern, I was part of the team. My role was hands-on and I felt like there was a lot of trust in me,” he says.
Depending on the needs of the team and company, an internship can lead to a full-time offer. When asked what made them want to stay at WeWork after their internship wrapped up, all four cited reasons tied to their team, career growth opportunities, and the entrepreneurial aspect of WeWork’s culture.
Making the most of every day as an intern
Saying yes or volunteering for challenges that arise early on in one’s career is the best way to hone in on skills that will prove beneficial for long-term career growth. In turn, interns are likely to receive continuous evaluation and feedback for growth.
During their internships, Solomon, Fevola, Andre, and Srikanth participated in ongoing learning and development over the course of the summer. They were able to work on and own a variety of different projects thanks to the cross-functional nature of WeWork teams, which opened the door to rapid growth and opportunities to step outside their comfort zone.
Interns on the community team take on similar responsibilities of community associates, resolving potential building issues, planning and hosting events, managing member communications, and lots of other day-to-day tasks in hospitality and operations. They can also participate in extra professional development events and networking opportunities, which give interns essential tools to grow.
“The role is what you make of it,” Solomon says. “Be curious, keep an open mind, network with other teams, set up a coffee chat or lunch to see what other teams and roles are like. There is a lot of freedom as an intern, so it’s important to take the opportunity to explore your options.”
“Slack is like a rolodex,” Fevola says. “If you want to spend your day with another team, you’re not in a box. Use this time to figure out what you like and dislike.” Looking back, he says that learning to roll with the changes and being involved in a variety of solution-oriented situations positioned him well in his career journey.
A unique internship experience at WeWork
During the 10-week immersive program, WeWork interns have the opportunity to work on, and own, projects that impact the business, both in their specific function and across the company. This is valuable hands-on experience—another reason why it is so crucial to volunteer for as many projects as possible.
“My manager wasn’t shy about giving me projects to own, which is rare as an intern. I was able to own a project end-to-end and build it from start to finish over 10 weeks. I really appreciated the opportunity to see the long-term impact this project had on the community team and my personal growth at the time,” Andre says.
Solomon thrived off the team-oriented nature of the sales team. “The culture was so welcoming and everyone was willing to help. We even had a mentor program on sales development where we could shadow calls and go through different scenarios together,” he says.
WeWork offers an environment to foster relationships and development. Every week, interns can network and attend a speaker series, where different WeWork leaders across functions present to the group. WeWork’s Office of Inclusion also strives to create an environment where everyone feels welcome to be their authentic selves at work. Interns attend Employee Community Group (ECG) panels and events hosted by WeWork’s five global ECGs and an intern-specific WeRead session that highlights a diverse author. They also participate in WeWork’s Allyship training, developed in partnership with Lean In, to help interns recognize their privilege and positional power, and learn what specific actions they can take to show up as allies.
Srikanth’s favorite part of her internship was attending these events and workshops. “They allowed me to make connections with other interns, network with different parts of the company, and become familiar with our culture.”
Working toward your goals
Another key element of a great internship is finding and working with a great mentor. Srikanth’s project impacted the way members interact with WeWork’s product—she was centered on combining the main WeWork app with the WeWork On Demand app to roll out globally. While it may have seemed like a lot to take on at first, she was not without the support of her manager, colleagues, and fellow interns.
It’s also important to have a few objectives or personal goals in mind when approaching a potential mentor. Fevola met with his manager regularly to discuss his personal growth, skills he wanted to learn, and different career routes he could take. “My team was so uplifting. Knowing that I have a support system to venture into other functions was very motivating,” he says.
For Srikanth, having a variety of internships prior to WeWork helped her decide what she wanted out of a full-time role. “The connections you make during an internship are the most valuable. They can help with the stress of finding a job but also with finding something we really want to do,” she says.
Andre identifies with a WeWork value: Be entrepreneurial. “I’m continuously impressed with the amount of resources we have at WeWork to grow professionally,” she says. “This, combined with our active Employee Community Groups and support from my intern team, made me want to stay.”
“There’s a versatility in the company where you can learn about so many different teams. There was clearly an opportunity if you wanted it, and I’ve grown so much in the past three years,” Fevola says.
If you’re considering an internship with WeWork, check out our career site for Summer 2023 internship and early career opportunities, and join our talent community to get exciting career opportunities delivered right to your inbox.
Bif Ockwell is an employer brand lead at WeWork. She has specialized in employer branding and employee storytelling for companies in the financial services, health and wellness, and real estate industries.