Reflecting on summer internships at NortonLifeLock
What it’s like to be an intern in a global, multicultural setting
Internship programs have drastically evolved over the last several years and are no longer all about taking coffee orders or making photocopies; both the company and the intern expect more. At NortonLifeLock, we developed our intern program with that evolution in mind, and our goal was to provide our interns with an overall experience versus just another summer job.
While our interns spent most of their time contributing to important initiatives across their assigned business units, it was also important that the company spent time providing them with an opportunity to develop their professional skills, network across the group and expose them to other areas of the business and leadership team.
We were very fortunate to have 39 interns join us in the U.S. this summer, and with the end of summer in sight, we wanted to provide four of them a platform to share their impressions of this experience.
Interns: Zoe (Data Science), Edwin (Social Media), Lillie (Communication), & Peri (Global Marketing)
About Your First Impressions
I wanted something to expand upon what I have been studying and bridge the gap between school and my career. NortonLifeLock provided the perfect opportunity to accomplish that. I have a B.S. in computer science and currently working toward my M.S. in computer science. I am passionate about machine learning and data science, so I was delighted when NortonLifeLock matched me with their data science team, letting me test some of the theories and build on these concepts with seasoned industry professionals. I was ready to learn as much as possible in 10 weeks. My team gave me all the opportunities and guidance I needed to make the most of my internship experience.
I am interested in the tech space but also passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion; I look for workplaces that embrace different backgrounds and skill sets. I’ve been supported by powerful women and POC leaders throughout my internship – not just on my team but in other groups. The diversity in leadership and thought comes not just from closing gender and ethnicity gaps but also from geographic ones.
I started this internship with nervous excitement – I knew I would be learning from highly accomplished individuals, but what would this internship entail, and am I well prepared to take on this role?
My anxious thoughts were calmed almost immediately as I stepped foot into NortonLifeLock and was greeted with eager faces and a warm welcome. It was evident to me that I was not “just an intern.” They met me with respect and understanding and gave me a sense of purpose throughout the internship. My team added me to calls from day one, gave me projects, and assigned real, meaningful work. At first, the independence and responsibility of my role were nerve-racking, but my team supported and guided me through these invaluable learning experiences.
On my third day at NortonLifeLock, I walked into the office, sat at my desk, and logged on for an event called the “MBC Amazing Cyber Space Race.” As we dove into the community-building event, I talked to co-workers worldwide. It was the first time I realized that I was indeed a part of an international company. I would log in to work a little earlier than usual to connect with my team’s European counterparts via Zoom. At every turn, I would find that NortonLifeLock kept a global perspective.
About Global Outlook & Culture
One aspect of this internship that made it a wonderful experience was the culture, which focused on learning and positive development. Idea sharing was encouraged, and questions were always welcome, sparking fruitful conversations. Hyper-focus on a project’s details can be straightforward but taking a step back and sharing ideas makes it much easier to keep the bigger picture in mind. It’s essential to ensure all those little details are moving you in the right direction. The culture of learning and positive development made the entire experience well-rounded.
Having spent 75% of my college experience – including two internships – in an environment where video-calling is the norm, it’s inspiring to see a company with an international structure where high-profile members trust remote colleagues. This isn’t to say that the office environment isn’t valuable, but hiring remotely can widen the search for candidates. As someone who has not lived in Arizona, I would likely not have ended up in this position had the push for hybrid and remote options not made it realistic.
With my manager and co-workers' excellent guidance and support, I quickly began learning the ropes of a global internship.
It didn’t take long to realize that things move quickly in the global sector. No two days were the same, from writing press releases, conducting media outreach, and tracking corporate events. Each day came with a new learning experience and continually kept me on my toes and eager for what was to come next.
In every aspect of the marketing process, I was reminded that we developed campaigns with the mindset that the messaging needed to span across cultures and continents. Of course, our team works in advance to create campaigns for months later, like developing the winter holiday season messaging strategy. Our meetings with the creative team were all about making sure the process was applicable worldwide, regardless of celebrating the holiday. I had never thought that a global company wouldn’t use snow in holiday advertisements because countries like Australia don’t have snow in December.
About Your Learnings
One of the biggest takeaways I also grasped very quickly is to know what you don’t know. The notion of a global internship can seem scary and isolating as you feel you need to know everything. It was apparent that everyone wants you to succeed and is there to help your personal and professional development.
The accepting environment made it easy and comfortable to ask questions and allowed me not to feel defeated or useless. The knowledge I gained throughout this global internship was immeasurable. I was not expected to know everything going into the internship, and I was surrounded by individuals who supported and urged me to learn, which provided a place of opportunities.
The opportunity to work for a large brand during a pivotal point in its global transformation attracted me to this position. It challenged my skill sets in crafting brand and social strategy, completing competitive analyses, and creating content that fits our existing goals and guidelines. The fast-paced cadence gave me enough time to digest tasks and produce reports, video, and text content up to standard.
I had a knowledgeable and helpful team to support me as I played a vital role in the business transformation and dug deeper into my skill sets to become a better marketing strategist, analyst, and social media expert. I can’t imagine being able to spend my summer in a way that was as valuable as my time here.
The opportunity to grow and learn in a company that acknowledges and values global perspectives has been fantastic. I’ve had the chance to learn from mentors from around the world as I’ve gone through my internship. If I could offer any advice to incoming interns or employees, I would remind them that not many people have such a network at their fingertips. Every moment of connection, strategizing, community building, and project development was a chance to learn from someone different from myself. Working for NortonLifeLock this summer has allowed me to develop as a young person and a young professional.
Another aspect that made this internship a great experience was the variety of brilliant minds on my team and throughout the company. Each person had unique experiences and perspectives, with a wealth of industry knowledge, technical knowledge, and the ability to bridge the two. I also had many opportunities to talk to company members with insightful perspectives.
Our interns significantly impacted the organization, and we trust we achieved our goal of impacting their future careers. We’ve already started developing next year’s program to ensure NortonLifeLock continues to offer the best experience that evolves with the Company, being more comprehensive and inclusive. I want to thank our interns for all their engagement, motivation, energy, and dedication.
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