Ellucian Intern Experience
- Elise Romola no longer dreads a nine-to-five job
- Her experiences as an Ellucian intern have altered her views
- She believes power, passion, performance—and people—are keys to Ellucian’s success
My entire life I've dreaded working a nine-to-five. I've heard so many stories about sitting at cubicles that make days seem endless, and not in a good way. Six weeks into my internship, I'm here to tell you that what you've heard is wrong, and if you do it right, your internship just might have you not wanting to go back to school, but sticking with that nine-to-five.
This summer I'm working as the Solutions Marketing intern at Ellucian's global headquarters in Reston, Virginia. Ellucian is the world's leading supplier of software and services for higher education, but for a technical company, it could not be more people oriented. Our internship programme is one of the best in the nation, not just in my opinion, but also in Vault Magazine's 2019 Rankings.
It's not just the modern, open floor plans that inspire collaboration and creativity, or the freedom and flexibility to pursue projects cross-functionally that make this place so great. Maybe it's the unlimited Nespresso or the “Reston Freebies” Slack channel where all the free food gets posted, but that still doesn't encompass it all.
My internship with Ellucian could be summed up in three words that any Ellucian employee would recognise—power, passion, and performance—but if I could add a fourth word, it would be people.
Our goal is to power higher education with innovative solutions, and while every department has a different role, we all work toward the same vision. It doesn't matter that the software development team is focused on creating and updating products and the marketing team is focused on designing campaigns to reach our target markets, we can all see how our work is contributing to the mission of the company.
Placing an importance on passion seems simple, but it speaks highly of a company when its employees are truly excited about the work they do. For interns and college students, having the ability to work on projects that will directly affect other college students around the world is appealing. Whether it's solving problems customers are facing, awarding scholarships to students, or delivering innovative solutions to institutions to make advancement easier, every project has a direct impact on someone. Not every company places such faith and responsibility on its interns, but at Ellucian, we're not just viewed as interns, we're seen as equal contributors to the growth of our company.
Performance is how our company is perceived in the eyes of customers, employees, and ourselves, and that stems from a collaborative work environment. Our entire executive team works at open desks just like the ones interns use, near huddle rooms for group work and focus rooms for when you need silence. When you need a break, we have relaxation rooms for reading and coloring, and a game room with shuffleboard and multiple foosball tables. Ellucian recognises that to be successful, its employees need to have balance between work and fun, and that's exactly what it provides.
The final value that I've seen here in the first half of my summer is one that often gets overlooked. Putting people first isn't just an empty promise at Ellucian—it’s a top priority. From ice cream socials to happy hours and coffee chats, to diversity and inclusion events, Ellucian is taking care of its employees, but the people who work at Ellucian are what make the company what it is. My team, the Solutions Marketing team, has made me feel like I've been here for years. They ask for my opinion and share their own experiences, and my manager and I have our weekly catch-up meetings by walking on the trails outside our office. It's these small things that add up to show how valued we are not only as interns, but as employees, and that's what makes Ellucian such an attractive place to work.
I've been lucky to find a company that allows me to explore my interests, challenge myself, and grow in my field, but I'm even luckier to have landed a team that makes working a nine-to-five seem endless, but this time in a good way.