How We Built WLPayments With Interns
Why we chose to utilize interns:
As a startup, we expect things to be accomplished in a matter of hours and days instead of weeks and months; to be faster and more efficient at everything we do. Interns are in the learning phase of their career, transitioning from academics to the professional world. They are hungry to learn and grow. Hence, we found that hiring interns was the best way to grow our team and cultivate a culture that promotes quick learning and creativity. Millennials, when guided in the right direction, can quickly acquire new skills, apply them in short timeframes, and adapt to fast-changing situations.
How we achieved success:
We followed a rigorous hiring process to filter out students who have relevant experience in the areas we were hiring for. We brought these talented millennials on board and discovered that training them was effective when the given work was meaningful and had significance in the end product. Consequently, the interns also took more initiatives on their own.
While working with a young team, instant communication is the key to getting things done. We have a flat organizational structure where there is no hierarchy, making it easy to reach management for feedback and updates on how to move forward. Our young team was also exposed to the business cases for their respective features to complete the picture.
The interns are also not limited to their roles; everyone is allowed to contribute to the areas they find interesting. This has encouraged a collaborative and creative work environment. For example, when the initial marketing for our product began, the entire team pitched in. Similarly, there is an open sharing of ideas between developers, designers, and network engineers.
We have inculcated the European workstyle environment in our team’s approach. Our interns are given meaningful job responsibilities and not some monotonous tasks. We provide true mentorship to prepare them for dealing with the challenges that being professional entails. A great product can only be driven by discipline and passion for the craft. They are encouraged to share their ideas in the making of our products. They are also paid well to cover all the basic necessities so they can single-mindedly focus on their career growth and learning.
We take pride in the fact that all the students who have completed internships at WLPayments are working as full-time professionals in their chosen area of interest. WLPayments is all about work hard and play harder. We conduct regular team building sessions to interact and have fun together such as games, cooking, visits to theme parks, and team dinners.
Rigorous hiring process:
It is vital to hire the right interns. The skills we emphasize the most on for prospective interns are their integrity and motivation. Although a certain level of technical proficiency is required, it is their motivation to learn that enables them to hone their technical skills. We assess their technical and personal skills by directly reviewing their projects with them, understanding their approach to problems rather than asking abstract interview questions or irrelevant programming puzzles. We ask them to come over to the office before joining to let them experience the way we work.
The strategy of hiring interns has reaped enormous benefits in terms of building a positive work culture at WLPayments. We are also grateful to internship platforms which have bridged the gap between aspiring interns and meaningful internships. Giving more opportunities to interns and mentoring them is also one of the ways we can give back to the society.
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