Several weeks since starting the EDGE Internship program, Yousuf has accomplished more than he likely dreamed of on his first day. He’s networked with various AT&T leaders, linked to a vast network of AT&T employees, and has hands-on experience with our technology projects. Not bad for someone who applied on a whim.

“I didn’t think I would get it, but I also thought, ‘What’s the worst thing that could happen?’’

What is the EDGE internship?

The AT&T EDGE Internship is an all-purpose program that offers interns a look into the many aspects that make our products and services possible. No matter the major or background, interns can contribute to a diverse array of business units – and pick up some new skills along the way.

In the classroom, Yousuf primarily studies Information Technology for his degree. During his EDGE internship, his duties revolve around our Sales team. The placement may not have been his first choice, but as time and experience has taught him, it can be quite rewarding to work outside of your comfort zone.

“I’ve been creating a sales dashboard that my AVP manager can review to analyze how his team is doing. It’s less about selling on my end, and more about seeing how it’s all done on the sidelines, creating reports and asking what the team thinks about my work. I have a voice, and I’ve created value through my work. With this experience, I feel like I have broadened my options just a bit more.”

A Versatile Internship

When time is available, Yousuf has also gained exposure to projects in our other business units through The Opportunity Marketplace (TOM) – a program our employees can use to submit open requests for help on various challenges. While the program is open for all employees, Yousuf found it especially helpful, and surprising, that such a thing was available for interns in their early career stages.

And so far? It’s led to some pretty cool work.

“First, I helped an employee operate a robot dog. The employee I helped explained what his team did, why they do it, and invited me to a drone flying event afterward. I didn’t even know drones were a thing at AT&T. It just shows how the opportunity here is huge for many people, regardless of what they specialize in.”

Internships are about gaining experience – in the work you accomplish and the connections you make. Yousuf was surprised to discover how accessible leaders have been over a simple email. By remaining curious about how the business operates, he’s built a network that can connect him to great opportunities after graduation.

Connecting Across Barriers

“The networking is one of the best parts about AT&T. I’ve met Assistant VPs, VPs, and even the President of Engineering. Everyone here has been welcoming and willing to take time out of the day to speak with me.”

How does one get their foot in the door for the EDGE internship? We asked Yousuf what it takes to catch a recruiter’s attention, and how interns today can make their time with the program as productive as possible.

“First, I recommend registering for the AT&T Summer Learning Academy and create opportunities to advance yourself. The Externship is made up of free webinars, and there is so much out there you can pick up from joining. Second, I think confidence plays a big role. Once you’re confident in who you are and what you can provide, I think you can achieve anything.

“Even with this virtual environment, I was able to make real friends with the other interns. We couldn’t meet in person, but being able to talk and connect opens up the future just a little bit more. That’s the one small advantage of being online: We have these teams we can call into in cities across the country. We’re all connected, even when we’re not together.”

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