Senior Recruiter Jeremy Bradshaw joined Audible in 2013 after almost six years at Amazon and has since helped relaunch our college tech intern program. As he and his fellow recruiters attend conferences and career fairs to speak to students this fall, Jeremy shares what we look for in our College Intern candidates and why Audible is a great place for emerging tech talent to work.
1) What do you love about working with interns?
One of the things I love about being the program manager of the college recruiting program for the technology teams is the diversity of candidates I get to work with. I enjoy experiencing the exciting energy that they bring to the job—they just want to take on the world! I also love that we offer so many of our college interns the opportunity to transition to full-time jobs and that I get to see them through that.
2) Why is Audible an awesome place for interns?
We give our college interns work that they can potentially put into production before they leave for the summer. Some teams and projects might be more exploratory than others, but even the fact that they have the potential to bring something new to life down the road is exciting.
Our college tech interns also get to work together with our Newark Audible Scholars during the summer. This summer the two groups partnered on a project in which they talked to customers and recommended ways to improve our service.
Another thing interns say they love about our culture is that it’s such a friendly and open environment; all interns have both a manager and a mentor they work with, but they can also approach other team members and parts of the business to connect or just to ask questions.
We offer our tech interns housing over the summer, and as they come from all over the country and sometimes even the world, that’s pretty significant. We also offer them some of the benefits full-time employees love, like lunch every day.
Most importantly, Audible is a great career builder for college tech interns because of the opportunity to come back for full-time roles. Last year, for example, we had 80 percent of our interns accept full-time jobs or return internship offers. For us, the internship is the interview. Since our interns have good managers and mentors and work on great teams and cool projects, they often decide, “Audible is the place I want to start my career.”
3) What’s new in the internship recruiting landscape for college students? What has Audible done to adapt to this?
The big change from when the program was relaunched four years ago is the recruiting timeline. We used to recruit in the fall for full-time roles, and the spring was when we went to look for summer interns. Now, tech companies like Audible looking for top talent have to start recruiting summer interns in the fall or we won’t have the level of talent we’re looking for. This fall, for example, we’re talking to seniors graduating in December 2019 or May/June 2020 looking for full-time roles, and we’re also looking for summer 2020 interns.
Inclusion is important to us and we focus on that in our recruiting. We have a presence at events and conferences like the Grace Hopper Celebration, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and the National Society of Black Engineers and have done a lot of outreach with affinity groups on campuses.
4) What kind of students do we look for?
Our college tech interns need to have strong technical skills and coding backgrounds. We don’t necessarily require experience coding in a certain language, but interns need to have exposure to object oriented programming. We’re not overly concerned with GPA; the coding test and interviews hold more weight for us.
We also look for interns that exemplify Audible’s People Principles. In final interview stages, we have managers talk with interns to see if a candidate fits with a team and the general culture here.
5) How do we decide which schools to visit for career fairs? What should students know when they approach our booth and what do we hope they come away with?
We try to focus on two main things when it comes to where we participate in career fairs: having a presence at local schools near our offices and reaching out to affinity groups to create an inclusive group of interns. Sometimes employees also want to go represent at their alma maters, too. This year, in the Newark area, we’re going to NJIT and Rutgers; in Massachusetts to MIT, Smith, Amherst, Mount Holyoke Colleges and Northeastern University; and to Howard University in Washington, D.C., among lots of other recruiting events.
Career fairs are pretty high level. We want potential candidates to understand our process, learn about Audible and register in our system so we can reach out with more information. Students don’t need to dive into the details of their resumes just yet!