Did you know NETSCOUT has an internship program? Our long-running, year-round program has provided more than 300 college and graduate program students with full-time, paid work experience for more than 10 years. We have interns working nationally and internationally in all areas of our company, gaining practical experience while building their professional networks. And in the last five years, 25 of those interns have converted to permanent NETSCOUT employees.
This summer’s U.S.-based intern class participated in the inaugural Intern Cohort program—an enhanced and fully virtual internship experience designed and led by Beth Kirsch, employee engagement manager for NETSCOUT. These interns not only completed meaningful, degree-relevant, and resumé-enhancing work but also formed a cross-functional, multisite network based on shared experiences.
When asked about the genesis for this program, Kirsch explained, “We had an intern in HR this summer. When I asked what formal company programming was available for her, I found out there was none.” Seeing a need and wanting to create an exceptional experience for her intern, Kirsch innovated. She created the pilot Intern Cohort program and rolled it out to 21 interns in six departments, across four sites. “When you’re an intern, it can be overwhelming,” Kirsch noted. “I wanted to create a space for them to build community with each other while they’re working here. I hope they take that community with them wherever they go.”
Kirsch conducted a virtual kickoff meeting for the Intern Cohort participants during which she walked the group through a brief history of NETSCOUT, our products and business, and our values. For the meet-and-greet segment, attendees were encouraged to bring a “show and tell” item to share as a way of introducing themselves and sparking some conversation.
The interns also attended the Learn with Leaders meetings, which Kirsch designed. In this series of virtual meetings, seven top leaders from across NETSCOUT discussed various work- and life-related issues. Darren Anstee, chief technology officer for security; Azar Khansari, vice president and associate general counsel; Tony King, senior vice president of International Sales; Jeff Levinson, vice president, general counsel, and secretary; Lon Lowen, associate vice president of engineering; Hardik Modi, area vice president of engineering, threat, and mitigation products; and CEO Anil Singhal spoke about their jobs at NETSCOUT and other topics, including whether they were on the same career paths they’d planned when starting out, how they got to where they are today, leadership philosophy and style, proudest professional accomplishments, and what professional experiences they’ve learned from most.
They also offered advice for our interns at the beginnings of their careers. These meetings weren’t just one-way presentations: They were two-way conversations. Our interns were encouraged to reach out and follow up with these speakers after any of the talks—and they did.
Legal intern Jenna Asarese told us, “I especially enjoyed the Learn with Leaders conversations as it not only allowed me to hear from those most in line with my career path but also from others with very different backgrounds in the company. Learning about their day to day, their path towards NetScout, and even just hearing about their thoughts on the future of the industry was insightful and allowed me to self-reflect on my own journey.”
“Being able to spend time in front of the company’s most influential figures during the Learn with Leaders sessions was powerful,” said engineering intern Joel Harrison. “I was able to take key insights from every single session on how to succeed in my career and in life.”
In addition to the real project work every intern completed, they were invited to create and deliver final presentations for the rest of the Intern Cohort, highlighting their individual accomplishments and learnings throughout the summer. In between the kickoff and end-of-summer celebration, cohort members participated in a virtual social event and kept in touch with each other via a variety of company communication channels.
The response to this new program was overwhelmingly positive, as evidenced by the following reactions from cohort members:
I enjoyed the opportunity to learn from industry professionals while [using my] unique skills that added value to the team.
It was a fantastic work experience.
I was able to do a lot of project-based work, which has always been something I enjoyed in school and didn’t get to do very often. I was looking forward to this when I first began this internship, and I was thoroughly fulfilled in this regard.
It gave me in-field experience, allowed me to start networking, and allowed me the opportunity to continue work during school.
Obviously, we plan to build on this success, making the Intern Cohort a regular program and rolling it out again in summer 2022. Kirsch hopes to expand the program to get more employees involved as guides and mentors and to expand the opportunities for the cohort members to interact more next year.
NETSCOUT knows that innovation can come from anywhere, and we’re always looking for fresh minds with fresh ideas. Click here to learn more about internship opportunities. Positions are posted throughout the year, so be sure to check back regularly.