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Tuesday, March 23 • 12:45pm - 1:30pm
How Agile Internships Lead to Successful Teams

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Over the past several years, we have built a team that exudes cohesiveness, inclusivity, and diversity of both thought and experience. Our culture is rooted in trust, collaboration, innovation, and fun. While other teams might wonder how we created such a immutable team dynamic, the real truth comes down to our hiring practices; our pre-hiring practices. We shape many of our teammates into agile practitioners early in their professional career...one to two years before a full-time offer letter is ever even drafted. As interns, our future teammates are introduced to agile practices that allow us to have a relatively hands-off role in their summer experience. We strive to give our interns an environment that gives them supported autonomy. From the beginning, we stress that we have no expectations of what they complete and their end product is entirely in their hands. This laissez-faire style, though it seems counterintuitive, empowers our interns with feelings of ownership and buy-in, both to their projects and to our organization’s methodologies. In fact, intern projects from the past four summers are used daily to support ongoing development efforts and play key roles in delivering data to our customers. In this speech we’ll walk you through four of the key factors that make our agile internship an effective tool, both for growing agile development teams and for improved transitions into full-time working culture. We’ll tell you how we grew our internship retention rate from 50% to nearly 90% in the last three years. As two intern conversions who’ve been on both side of the hiring process, we look forward to sharing our unique tactics to transforming novice interns into agile advocates.

avatar for Will Duke

Will Duke

Will Duke is a Software Engineer, newly established Release Train Engineer, entrepreneur, and lifelong student. After earning the nickname of “full-time intern” by spending thee years in the IBM Internship program, he joined IBM full time. He enjoys building data pipelines, organizing... Read More →
avatar for Brittany Williams

Brittany Williams

While attending Duke University, Brittany Williams participated in the IBM Summer Intern Program where she developed a fascination for agile methodologies and design thinking. While she has always had a passion towards design, innovation, and problem solving, Brittany quickly grew... Read More →

Tuesday March 23, 2021 12:45pm - 1:30pm EDT
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