What It's Like to Intern at Dell

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This post is part two in a two-part series from Joanne Mortell outlining her internship experience at Dell and key takeaways for those who will be participating in any intern program while they’re in school. Read about her internship experience at Dell below and check out her top tips for interns.


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What do Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Betsey Johnston, Ursula Burns and Steven Spielberg all have in common (apart from millions of dollars and worldwide fame, that is)? Yeah, you guessed it – at one point, they were all interns, just like you and me.

I will always remember my first day as an intern at Dell in Limerick, Ireland. After days of online investigating and hours of staring into the wardrobe, I dressed myself up in what I imagined was typical office attire. I left home early – like really early, just in case I was unlucky enough to get struck by lightning or something a bit more realistic like a flat tyre.

When I arrived at the site, I made my way into reception and waited for my “buddy” – an assigned mentor who would help me navigate Dell over the next few months. While I sat on the fancy couch, I began to take it all in. I gazed at all the awards and honours plastered across the walls, I watched several employees pass through the doors and I wondered if I looked as nervous and awkward as I felt. A few minutes later I was greeted by my “buddy” – a smiling and welcoming woman who made me at ease, for a few moments anyway. As we left reception and walked through the building, I felt overwhelmed again. The campus was so big, people were scurrying about everywhere and appeared much busier than the folks back in college – these people meant business.

As the day passed, I met my colleagues (who soon became my friends). As each of them introduced themselves, it became apparent that without introducing myself personally, they already knew who I was and why I was here at Dell. This was something that comforted me. Even before I had arrived at Dell for the first day of my internship, my manager and my team had taken an interest in me.

As my first day passed, I realized that I had my work cut out for me. Simple tasks that seemed natural to others, were somewhat of a struggle for me. This became apparent to me when Karen, my buddy, asked me to book some time in her calendar for a breakfast date. I can only imagine the blank look on my face. How do I book some time in her calendar? I had never used Outlook before, this was totally new to me!

I left work that first day with a smile and felt excited for what the next six months had in store for me. As the weeks went on, my feelings of nervousness began to disappear. No one expected me to come in and run the show. I just had to do my best to grow and learn and that is exactly what I did. The day to day activities of being an intern became second nature to me. I began to enhance my skillset and even discover skills and traits I never knew I had. While my business role was much of the reason behind this, the extracurricular activities I became involved with onsite also provided me with valuable experiences and networks that proved to vital during my transition from an intern to a full time Dell graduate.

Four days after my internship ended, I returned to Dell Limerick for an interview for a graduate role and, a week after that interview, I started my new role as a Global Product Data Manager and, well, now here I am! I have the privilege of working in a fantastic environment where my employer values me, gives me the autonomy I need to grow and encourages me to be my very best.

Dell recognizes that becoming an intern can be scary.  For many of us it is our first time inside the doors of a multinational corporate power house, and the simple things like going for lunch or introducing yourself to co-workers can feel like an ordeal. I remember two key messages of support that my co-workers gave me in my first few days: first, “we were all in your position at one stage” and secondly, “you will never make a mistake so big that none of us can fix.” I am certain of one thing after my six month internship with Dell, its biggest asset is its employees; they will truly make you feel welcome and at ease during your internship.

Learn more about opportunities for students at jobs.dell.com/careers/student-jobs or get to know us a little better on your favourite social network.

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Photo of Joanne

Joanne serves as a Global Product Services Offer Manager in the Global Offer Master Data department of Dell. In this role, Joanne is responsible for services SKU creation for Network and Storage products in the EMEA region, which at a high level, ensures customers have the capability to purchase complimenting services for their products on the online store. Having studied a Masters in Management & Marketing in University College Cork in early 2015, Joanne is relatively new to Dell and has recently transitioned from an Intern to a full time Graduate employee at Dell. Joanne is an avid blogger and is the founder of her own blog which showcases the latest news, trends and tips from the business world to a target audience of young professional females.

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