A Summer in Tech: A Day in the Life with our 2019 Okterns
As we continue to bask in the warm sunshine, it’s only a matter of time before the summer officially comes to an end. We wanted to wrap up the season by highlighting our amazing group of summer Okterns (Okta interns) before they head back to school. Here’s how the Summer Oktern Class of 2019 launched their careers with Okta:
How did you find out about Okta?
- Through a mutual friend who previously interned at Okta and couldn't say enough about how open the culture is here!—Cherry Wu, Internal Communications Intern, Urban Design major at University of California, Berkeley
- I heard a lot about Okta through several friends who are close to the space, and through a talk that was given at my school.—Le Chern Ho, Product Strategy Intern, MBA student at Stanford University
Why did you choose Okta?
- Everyone I met during the interview process was so welcoming and passionate about the product. It made me feel excited about the potential to join such an innovative company. I was really shown the value that Okta could have both for its customers and for my career.—Katie Kern, Sales Development Representative Intern, Economics major at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- I previously interned at companies that all used Okta, and I loved the product. It enabled me to get access to what I needed on day one. When searching for internships this past year, it made perfect sense to choose Okta!—Anjali Rangaswami, Database Marketing Intern, Economics major at Santa Clara University
- I chose Okta because of the strength of the product and the culture. I wanted to be a part of a company that would be both exciting and challenging to work at.—Kara Sibbern, Corporate Communications Intern, Political Science graduate from San Francisco State University
What does an average day look like? What projects have you been working on?
- As part of Okta’s Customer Advocacy Program, I’m experimenting with new ways to connect with our customers and share their stories. I’m currently engaging with customers who want to participate in different advocacy opportunities, such as being part of a customer journey, hosting a user group, or even speaking at Oktane20. It’s amazing to see how much our customers love Okta and want to be involved!—Sylvia Sarabia, Customer Marketing Intern, International Business graduate from University of California, San Diego
- Every day looks different. I’ve learned Okta’s CMS, worked with Git, fixed vulnerabilities, built international websites, and so much more. Beyond my projects, I’ve also been able to explore different career options and meet new people in various teams. The best part is being able to interact with anyone and knowing they’ll be helpful and willing to talk.—Ruchira Konda, Web Developer Intern, MS student at Northeastern University
- My average day involves prospecting clients and creating lists to support the Sales Development Representatives (SDRs), then contacting prospects to schedule meetings and build pipeline for Okta. The SDRs are all incredibly helpful and always quick to explain any ad-hoc projects. When I’m not working with prospects or on other projects, I sit in on team- and company-wide meetings, hear from executives during Lunch and Learns, and try to build as many connections as possible while here.—Niko Maclean Vernic, Sales Development Representative Intern, English major at University of Washington
What has been your favorite part of the internship?
- My team and my projects! I’m part of a team that allows each member to perform their best, voice honest opinions, and experiment with new ideas. My projects feel valuable because they directly align with my team’s goals and Okta’s goals. There’s a perfect balance between guidance from my team and the freedom to think creatively, develop new ideas, and have ownership over my projects.—Anjali Rangaswami, Database Marketing Intern
- I love the enablement that we receive as interns. Coming in with little real world experience is never an issue because our managers give us the tools we need to be successful and learn as much as possible in only 10 weeks—Katie Kern, Sales Development Representative Intern
- The opportunity to present my findings and get meaningful feedback on my work. The level of engagement and thoughtfulness has been very gratifying and pushed my thinking on Okta's products much further.—Le Chern Ho, Product Strategy Intern
- Learning and connecting with people across different teams. The company culture is so vibrant, motivating, and encouraging; I feel like I can reach out to anyone to ask them questions or just pick their brain about their role.—Tiana Travis, Sales Development Representative Intern, Health and Human Sciences major at Loyola Marymount University
How would you describe Okta's culture from an intern's perspective?
- I’m humbled by the amount of trust I receive from my team as an intern. I feel empowered by encouragement and honest feedback, and I’m incredibly appreciative of Okta’s open culture of learning and supporting.—Cherry Wu, Internal Communications Intern
- From volunteering at Family House to Tech Pathways Week, Okta cares about giving back to the community. Everyone from leadership down to individual contributors is always willing to help and offer themselves as a resource.—Sol Rapson, Sales Development Representative Intern, English major at University of California, Santa Barbara
- Always On! Okta is always providing the best products and services to its partners and customers, and the best #lifeatOkta experience to its full-time employees and interns.—Richard Kusuma, Partners Intern, Economics major at University of California, Los Angeles
Okta in one word?
- Dynamic.—Tiana Travis, Sales Development Representative Intern
- Transformative.—Sylvia Sarabia, Customer Marketing Intern
- Motivated.—Matty Gardiner, Sales Development Representative Intern, Political Science major at Trinity College
- Interconnected.—Allison Ku, Database Marketing Intern, Political Science Major at University of the Pacific
- Accountable.—Jackson Stephens, Sales Development Representative Intern, Business Information Systems major at California Polytechnic State University
If you could choose only one reason why other students should intern at Okta, what would it be?
- There’s a significant disconnect between what students learn in college and what they need to know in the workplace. Interning at Okta allowed me to gain real experience and knowledge at a rapidly growing technology company.—Allison Ku, Database Marketing Intern
- You get to learn from a team of amazing and talented people, be in a culture full of energy and passion, and work at a company that is open and transparent. Okta has a level of accessibility that I wouldn’t have expected at a company of this size.—Kara Sibbern, Corporate Communications Intern
- Everyone is friendly and willing to help. There are so many smart people who believe in Okta’s vision and potential. They all care about the interns and want to help us learn and grow with Okta.—Sam Hu, Software Engineering Intern
Are you interested in being part of our next class of Okterns? Check out our Careers page in the upcoming weeks for Engineering and Product roles, and in the Spring of 2020 for our other departments. If you have any questions or want Okta to visit your school, contact Kathy Mason, our University Recruiter, at [email protected].