Hi reader! I’m Ekaterina Raleigh, and I spent this past summer interning as an Associate UX Writer at Indeed. I’m excited to share with you my 12 week experience: one filled with moments of personal growth, perseverance, and connection. I hope I can give you a closer look into what it’s like interning during a pandemic and what I’ve learned. If you are looking to intern at Indeed, I hope to impart some words of wisdom. Enjoy!
Indeed’s mission to help people get jobs has always resonated with me because Indeed was the first search platform I used to look for jobs right out of high school. At the time, I was about to enter my first year of business school at the University of Texas at Austin, and Indeed was my go-to platform to search for part-time jobs while in college. I had no idea that I would end up interning for that very same company two years later!
Flash forward to my spring semester of my second year studying Marketing at UT Austin. I had joined a career development program where I met my mentor Angela Shang, a current Client Strategy & Insights Specialist at Indeed. I remember asking her so many questions about working remotely at Indeed and all of the amazing perks!
It was perfect timing because I had just attended a business career fair and learned that there was an internship opening to become a UX Writer intern at Indeed. I had enjoyed writing in past content work, and I thought it would be an interesting opportunity with my marketing background.
I applied, got invited for several interviews, did an assignment, and finally got offered the job! I knew almost immediately that I would accept.
COVID-19 and Remote Work
At this point in time, it had been more than a year since COVID-19 unexpectedly broke out. After being in school online for two semesters, I knew it was likely that my summer internship would be remote. I still remained optimistic that there would be some opportunity to engage in person. I grew up in Austin, so I was always passing by the offices near the domain and downtown and aspired to work in a cool highrise.
Regardless, one of the most exciting parts of my remote internship was setting up my desk and getting all of the cool merchandise. I loved getting the laptop and seeing the blue “I Help People Get Jobs” background light up, because it reminded me of all the purposeful work I would be doing. I knew that the backpack, coffee cups, and mugs would all be put to good use as well!
My First Week
I had never worked for such a big company before, so I was honestly anxious to see what it would be like. After completing an IT orientation and HR presentation, I was finally able to see my team! I was lucky enough to have conversations with both my mentor, Bo Fahs, and my manager, Yvonne Stull, during the interview process, so I was excited to work with them.
I was also able to attend a UX Content team meeting, where I was introduced to more than 15 UX content strategists, writers, and managers. Right off the bat, everyone was very welcoming and happy to have me as an intern, which was very exciting.
The rest of my week was spent setting up recurring zoom meetings, joining slack channels, reading emails, and connecting with people one-on-one. One of the most memorable conversations was with Jenny Park, a former Indeed intern now working full time. I had never worked in UX and I wanted to learn more, so she was gracious enough to show me some articles on the difference between UX writing, content strategy, and design.
Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid to ask for help, especially as an intern because you are there to learn!
Diving Into the Work
During my internship, I had the opportunity to work on my own big project in addition to smaller UX Writing projects already in progress. My main assignment was to collect and organize content guideline documents so that there was one place for general and product specific guidelines. I knew I would have to conduct research and I was given a good starting point, but I was not sure exactly what the final product would look like. Would I create a database? Or maybe an internal wiki page? Or maybe an AI tool?
Initially, this ambiguity was difficult to deal with because I had not yet worked on a long-term project as big in scope before. There were so many questions I had in my mind. Looking back, I wish I could have told myself to put trust in the process! The answer was not clear in the beginning, but bit by bit I started to get more direction by having conversations with people at Indeed.
After talking with 25 UX Content Strategists, Writers, and Designers, I was able to create an excel sheet with all 70 content guidelines I had collected. Then, I built out a short-term internal resource page and designed a database prototype for better access. My favorite part of my work was getting to take ownership of my project and forming so many great connections!
Visiting the Indeed Office
One of my favorite parts of my internship was getting to work inside an Indeed office during the short re-opening period.
While there were not as many people as there would have been under normal circumstances, I enjoyed the ability to have my own workspace to focus. I also enjoyed perusing the snack bar on my breaks and trying the yummy food for lunch.
An important part of my workday, especially when working on a computer for long periods of time, is taking walks. I loved exploring all of the floors and seeing the layout of the office. It was so cool peering into conference rooms and seeing the orange chair I had heard so much about, which represents the job seeker in every conference room. I was also able to take a walk outside the office into the Domain area which has great scenery and shopping areas. Even though I only went to the office once, it was a refreshing change of scenery!
This summer, I experienced many fruitful successes and some unexpected challenges. Despite these twists and turns, I was able to grow personally and professionally in a way that I hadn’t before. To sum up what I’ve learned, I’d like to share a list I made to remind myself of my key takeaways:
- Take initiative and stay curious: Your internship is what you make out of it, so keep asking questions so that you can learn as much as possible.
- Embrace small challenges and failures: It’s natural for challenges to come up, so fully understand why they occurred and how they can be prevented or solved. Success is rarely felt without a challenge because it feels sweeter when you’ve worked hard to overcome a difficulty.
- Everyday matters: It’s easy to lose sight of what you’re working towards if you don’t have a long term vision or perspective. Know that everyday, even if it seems small, does matter to achieving a larger goal so make it count!
- Be adaptable: Not everything is as you expect, which is both exciting and terrifying. Learn to go with the flow at certain parts and play the best you can with the cards you’ve been dealt.
- Know what you’re good at: Everyone is good at something, so learn how to leverage that to the best of your ability. I learned that I’m good at presenting a cohesive story and walking people through ideas so I made lots of slide decks. Find what you’re good at and stick to it.
Overall, the most important part is learning so take advantage of it!
Interested in being an intern at Indeed. Check out our open roles on our University Recruiting site.