My 12-week internship at C3.ai was an incredible period of learning and personal growth. I had the privilege of working alongside intelligent and driven employees. The challenging work and collaborative environment allowed me to build both hard and soft skills as well as develop relationships that I hope to maintain far into the future.
Combined with some fantastic amenities, it made for a truly fantastic summer experience.
“A strong desire to learn, willingness to listen to all advice, and fearlessness when it came to asking questions allowed me to overcome any initial anxieties.”
Access to Amazing Employees
This summer, I worked with some of the smartest people I have ever met. The diverse staff features people from all over the world with different academic, professional, and socioeconomic backgrounds. C3.ai is unrelenting in upholding its extremely high standards when it comes to hiring, and that is reflected in the quality of its employees. No matter what path led them to the company, C3.ai employees share positive outlooks and collaborative inclinations.
From the beginning of July until the end of August, I worked on building a go-to-market playbook specific to the C3 Inventory Optimization application. While the project required extensive independent, external research, it also led me to use the incredible resources that I had at my disposal inside the office. I met with senior members of the product, sales, product marketing, strategy, and analyst relations teams, all of whom were extraordinarily helpful and genuinely interested in my work. One of the greatest takeaways from this process was learning how to navigate a large organization effectively to take advantage of its phenomenal team members.
Amenities and Activities
I connected with dozens of other employees in other settings, even if I did not work with them directly. I met people from across the company at our daily catered lunches, during weekly happy hours, or in the free gym facilities at the Pacific Shores Club before work. In addition to these “standard” accommodations, there were several out-of-office teambuilding activities arranged for the intern cohort that helped me to get to know my fellow interns. These events included distributing food with the Second Harvest Food Bank, spending an afternoon on the water learning to sail in the Port of Redwood City, and participating in “The Finale” when we each had the opportunity to present our projects to the entire C3.ai staff. We also had a special intern luncheon with CEO Tom Siebel during which we were able to update him on our summer work and ask him questions. It was a special opportunity to get that level of exposure to such a titan of Silicon Valley.
Meaningful Work and Learning on the Fly
As a non-engineer, it was sometimes intimidating to plunge into the activities of a company that builds and sells a technologically complex product. But a strong desire to learn, willingness to listen to all advice, and fearlessness when it came to asking questions allowed me to overcome any initial anxieties. I learned to solve problems on my own but also realized that help could be found anywhere with so many brilliant people just a Slack message away. Does this mean the work was easy? Far from it. I left the office with my head spinning several times in the first few weeks. However, this challenging feeling was a result of the meaningful work that I was being asked to do.
Whether it was performing market analyses, building pricing models, developing deployment roadmaps, or constructing value models for the largest companies in the world, I was constantly motivated by the fact that my work had tangible value within the company. For example, my go-to-market playbook for one of the company’s products will be used as both training material for new employees who join the rapidly growing sales team as well as a dynamic sales resource for effectively engaging prospects. Who knows—perhaps one of my recommended target accounts will be C3.ai’s next customer in the aerospace & defense, consumer packaged goods, discrete manufacturing, distribution, or retail sector.
As my summer comes to a close, I can truly say that I have learned more over the past 12 weeks than in any other three month period of my life. I benefitted from being a “yes man” this summer—I was willing to say yes to every task that was floated my way. My mindset quickly shifted from “I hope I don’t mess this up” to “I can’t wait to learn something new” when faced with an assignment. I am extremely grateful for my exciting, formative, and fulfilling experience as an intern at C3.ai.