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The Inside Scoop: A Day in the Life of Our 2017 Summer Interns

MackenzieBressie
Mackenzie Bressie
Corporate Marketing Intern

My name is Mackenzie and as the Corporate Marketing Intern this summer, I’m here to give you a sneak peek into what it’s like to work at Okta. In between Giants’ games and spy mission games through the streets of San Francisco, the 42 interns who chose to spend their summers at Okta have worked on some seriously incredible projects. Of course I am a little biased, but my experience here has been nothing short of fantastic. The people at Okta are incredible and truly care about not only your success in your internship but also your future career development.

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It can often be difficult to discern which companies will offer meaningful growth and learning opportunities over the course of only two months. The 2017 interns are here to tell you that Okta is one of those places; no coffee-fetching or paper-copying involved.

To give you a better sense of what we have been doing, I’ve asked some other interns across different departments to answer a few questions.

So, in between snack breaks in the impressively well-stocked kitchens, what exactly have you been up to this summer?

  • The snacks do keep me pretty busy but I’m mostly focused on coordinating and updating past and future marketing campaigns in the APAC region. I’ve created Salesforce and Marketo programs to ensure we are recording data and gauging the efficiency and success of the current campaigns. -Jaime Quirante, Field and Partner Marketing Intern (Studying Government & Legal Studies and History at Bowdoin College)
  • Some of our iOS Okta mobile flows are tested manually due to iOS restrictions and I have been automating these by building an automated iOS end-to-end testing framework, using image recognition software. - Claire Wang, Quality Engineer Intern (Studying Information Science at Cornell University)
  • I am working on adding a voice call with push factor to Okta's multi-factor authentication (MFA) offering. This factor will call the user, the user will press 1, and Okta will log them in. We think it's a better user experience and has added security benefits. -Josh Rees-Jones, Software Engineer Intern (Studying Computer Science at North Carolina State University)
  • One of the projects I worked on was creating an automation plan to improve the efficiency of new Okta Help Center user approvals in Salesforce. I have also been able to help out with Oktane by testing training labs, provisioning accounts for those labs, and tracking attendance and staffing plans across different teams! - Johnny Stevens, Customer Success Programs Intern (Studying Business Administration at the University of Southern California)

How did you find out about Okta?

  • One of my high school friends worked for Okta last year and she absolutely raved about the company. Hearing such great things from her immediately made me want to work here. - Meredith Haggerty, Customer Marketing Intern (Studying Media Studies at the University of California, Berkeley)
  • ​I interned at Okta last summer as a corporate communications intern and loved it so much, I had to come back. - Nate Loura, Marketing Intern (Studied Consumer Family Finance and Business at The Ohio State University)

Why did you choose Okta?

  • I heard really great things about the company fostering the development of their interns and new employees. -Jake Lynch, Sales Development and Events Registration Intern (Studying Business at the University of Arizona)
  • I knew I wanted to learn more about marketing in the tech industry and I had only heard great things about the company. I also knew that I wanted to continue working in events, and what better event to work on than Oktane? I am very excited to see how everyone’s hard work for Oktane comes to life at the end of August. - Meredith Haggerty, Customer Marketing Intern
  • Okta solves a fundamental problem in the enterprise space, and there’s a lot of room for growth. It’s small enough that I can do important work on the core products, but large enough that I can enjoy the benefits of a well-resourced company. - Josh Rees-Jones, Software Engineer Intern

What does an average day look like?

  • Every day is different! I work on different Oktane-related projects like pulling registration numbers, organizing our Executive Summit, coordinating logistics for the Oktane Customer Awards, and adding challenges on the Ozone, our online customer advocacy group. - Meredith Haggerty, Customer Marketing Intern
  • Each morning starts out with a stand-up meeting, where everyone on the team briefly talks about what they’ll be working on. Afterwards, I will work on my tickets (the tasks assigned to me) for the current sprint. Most of the time mine are either implementing design choices for my project or improving and changing an implementation based on feedback from other engineers. - Claire Wang, Quality Engineer Intern
  • In the morning, I like to engage myself in thinking-heavy work, so I start out with my research project on blockchain-based identity. I like to learn about people, so I go out of my way to meet as many Okta folks as I can. I’ve met some incredible people at Okta who are receptive to untraditional ideas – some of them even contributed to my research project. I spend the rest of the day strengthening our partnerships by finding compelling new projects, and I explore different industries to build out our partner funnel. -Shruti Appiah, Strategic Partnerships Intern (Studying Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo)

What has been your favorite part about this internship?

  • Hitting quota. - Avery Lewis, Event Registration Intern (Studying Advertising at the University of Florida)
  • In previous internships I would spend months doing data entry that didn’t affect the company and that barely anyone would benefit from directly. At Okta, my day to day work is interesting and I know it’s helping the company as a whole. -Jaime Quirante, Field and Partner Marketing Intern
  • I get so much freedom and creativity with my project – I had a blast designing the testing framework. My project progressed from simply listing down project requirements and design ideas, to implementing these design ideas into an actual tool. Because I was given the chance to design and implement the framework, I had to learn on my own and work on the framework by myself. - Claire Wang, Quality Engineer Intern
  • My favorite part about the internship comes with the size of the company. It is large enough such that there is always more to learn about a rapidly growing company, yet it is small enough such that I can easily ping one of the leading product managers today and meet with them the next day. -Alexander Ma, Software Development Intern (Studying Computer Science & Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania)
  • I really appreciated the willingness of everyone on my team to allow me to shape my work. When I would meet with my manager Lorraine, she would always ask if there were any projects I wanted to spend more (or less) time on, or if there were any areas I wanted to learn more about. She made sure I had a fulfilling experience by giving me a voice in my learning and the opportunity to be exposed to different parts of the business that interested me. - Johnny Stevens, Customer Success Programs Intern
 

From an intern’s perspective, what is Okta’s culture like?

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  • Very open, inviting, and team oriented - Jake Lynch, Sales Development and Events Registration Intern
  • Okta’s leaders set a tone of being strong-willed yet light-hearted, which has clearly percolated to the employees. People at Okta are very welcoming. - Shruti Appiah, Strategic Partnerships Intern
  • The culture is very inviting and goal-oriented. Everyone here is able to make a difference in the company, making employees enjoy what they do and that much more determined to do it. -  Nate Loura, Marketing Intern
  • Although I was an intern, I was treated like an actual developer. My comments in SCRUM meetings were taken seriously and if I wanted to meet with anyone they would put in the effort to find a time. - Alexander Ma, Software Development Intern

If you had to describe Okta in one word, what would it be?

  • Integration. - Avery Lewis, Event Registration Intern
  • Transparent. - Jake Lynch, Sales Development and Events Registration Intern
  • Energetic. - Johnny Stevens, Customer Success Programs Intern
  • Innovative. - Nate Loura, Marketing Intern

If you had to pick only one reason, why would you recommend this internship to other students?

  • Okta is supportive of its employees and encourages them to perform at a high level. You will learn valuable skills in your chosen career path that will ensure you are ready to tackle life after college and join the professional workforce. It is a very real job, full of responsibilities and tasks that will be a great taste of what working full time will feel like. Okta’s environment, many perks, and friendly environment make it the best place to kickstart your career. - Jaime Quirante, Field and Partner Marketing Intern
  • Okta is very accessible for new developers because of the great mentorship program, but it can present interesting challenges for more experienced developers too. - Alexander Ma, Software Development Intern
  • Okta is a great place to intern because the company is constantly evolving. I’ve really enjoyed working for a company at this stage of growth, and the learning opportunities that have come from it have been invaluable to my own career progression.  - Johnny Stevens, Customer Success Programs Intern
  • Okta doesn’t make work seem like “work”. I wake up excited to come into the office and enjoy learning about the company and the industry each and every day. - Nate Loura, Marketing Intern
 

As a closing personal note to mark the end of my internship this summer, I would like to thank every single person I have worked with here. Okta is truly a special place and it is rare to find so many individuals so excited about what they do every single day. I can only hope that in two years when it comes time for me to find a full-time job, I am as fortunate as you all were to join a company this great.

Have we convinced you yet? If you’re considering a position for summer of 2018, be sure to check our Careers Page periodically this fall. For any questions or if you are interested in Okta visiting your school, please reach out to our University Recruiter, Kathy Mason at [email protected]

 
MackenzieBressie
Mackenzie Bressie
Corporate Marketing Intern

Mackenzie’s role at Okta this summer was rooted in Analyst Relations as she worked across the corporate communications and corporate marketing team. This fall, Mackenzie will begin her junior year at the University of Southern California, where she is studying Public Relations with minors in both Marketing and Entrepreneurship.