National Intern Day, which occurs on the last Thursday of July, is a time when millions of students across the U.S. start to wrap up summer internships and reflect on their experiences. Internships play a crucial role in shaping the future of the workforce, offering invaluable opportunities for personal and professional growth. For both students and companies, these programs can help foster mutually beneficial relationships to propel success and innovation in today’s competitive world.

At Kyndryl, our U.S. class includes 60 interns working across fields such as marketing, corporate affairs, cybersecurity, mainframe, information technology, design and human resources.  

Here are five things our interns learned this summer:

1. Mentorship

Working as an intern often gives you unrivaled access to potential mentors and connections that can help you in your career now and in the future. “I've met so many senior leaders in various fields,” said Ella Gravitz, a rising junior at Wake Forest University. “They took time not just to talk about their disciplines but also to share pointers on landing my first job.” 

As a first-generation college student, navigating the corporate space was initially challenging for Keely McBrayer, a recent graduate from The University of Texas at Austin. “Every leader I met at Kyndryl was empathetic in giving support and lending their advice. This safe learning environment empowered me to pursue my interests in paid media and events/experiences marketing,” said McBrayer.

2. Job experience

In today's competitive job market, experience is key. Internships provide an opportunity for you to work on real projects that you can add to your resume — helping you stand out from other candidates.

For example, Juan Diego “JD” Mazuera Arias, an MPA candidate at New York University, was always passionate about advocating for marginalized communities. JD got to put his beliefs into action while working on Kyndryl's Corporate Social Responsibility program, researching ways to help expand youth STEM skills across Latin America, Spain and Portugal. 

For Michael Joyce, a recent graduate from The University of Missouri-Columbia, Kyndryl’s internship program gave him the opportunity to apply what he’s learned in the classroom to a real setting. “I’m working on a federated learning project involving heart data. It’s quite rewarding to use the data analysis and machine learning skills I gained from the classroom in a real-world scenario,” said Joyce.

Kyndryl's summer internship program included 60 individuals, including (clockwise from top left) Roberto Ireta, Michael Joyce, Ella Gravitz, Keely McBrayer, Ryan Driscoll, Moses Parente, Khylei Neal, Kate Puckett, JD Mazuera Arias and Samantha Rivera.
3. Developing diverse skills

In today’s working world, the most successful professionals are those who actively seek opportunities to expand their knowledge and skills to stay relevant across industries.

“This internship has exposed me to different technologies and software that pushed me to decide what I want to specialize and excel in,” said Khylei Neal, a student at Rutgers University-Camden. “It’s also given me confidence in finding where my passion lies.”

For Kate Puckett, who attends Texas A&M University, this summer gave her the opportunity to become more comfortable with taking the initiative at work, while also teaching her peers how to do the same. “As a remote intern, I didn’t have constant access to my team or manager to monitor my work or keep me busy. It was up to me to speak up in meetings to take on extra responsibilities. Specifically, I took initiative to engage the other remote CIO interns by creating ways that we can foster more of a cohort feel.”

4. Networking

Networking during an internship is an important way to build meaningful relationships and leverage opportunities that can impact the future of your career.

“The team I’m working with are all deeply passionate about their work, which directly fuels my own passion to learn,” said Ryan Driscoll, a recent graduate of Illinois University. “The people I’ve met have such a wide amount of experience that at the end of each day, I feel like knowledge is leaking out of my ears.”

Roberto Ireta, an incoming senior at The University of Texas at San Antonio, said, “I pursued an internship at Kyndryl to find out what I’m passionate about and to be given the opportunity to grow and excel with industry professionals.”

5. Gaining confidence

Building confidence during an internship is a crucial ingredient for your career.

Samantha Rivera, a rising senior at Quinnipiac University, said that by embracing the regular feedback she received she was able to improve her confidence in tackling complex tasks. “I am grateful that my time here at Kyndryl taught me to give and take constructive criticism,” she said.

For Moses Parente, a student at Queen’s College (CUNY), that meant using his background to bring new perspectives to the table. “Coming from a cybersecurity background, I was able to bring a new view when it comes to cloud and automation. I’m proud that by speaking up with a different point of view, I was able to be a true asset to my team.” 

At Kyndryl, we’re committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace where team members of every level can develop their skills and grow. By sharing U.S. internship experiences across Kyndryl, we hope to inspire others to pursue similar opportunities and foster a more skilled and adaptable workforce nationwide.