AT&T Summer Learning Academy: An Alternative to the Typical Internship

Have you ever wondered about the different ways you can connect with a leading global technology and communications company? This summer, AT&T provided college students a free, self-paced online learning “externship” certificate program, designed to support college students looking for further their career development. I recently sat down to interview Konstadina Haralabidis (who prefers to go by Dina), about her experience interning with AT&T for their AT&T Summer Learning Academy externship. Dina is currently an English and Digital Marketing and Analytics major going into her Junior year at UConn Stamford. Dina was very excited to talk about the experience she had with the program and feels that other students should take advantage of this and other programs like this if the opportunity arises.

Like many students when the COVID-19 pandemic began she wasn’t sure what she was going to do during the summer, or if a remote internship was even a possibility. When she found out about the AT&T Summer Learning Academy through a recruiter on Handshake and that it was entirely virtual, she took a chance and applied. She applied in May and found out she was accepted and started around June 20th and lasted till July 20th.

The program showed Dina that her skills as an English major were very applicable in the field of communication, and was even given the chance to attend a workshop on how to tell stories.

Dina said that the Academy was focused on all of the different types of careers that make up AT&T and gave the interns a chance to delve into many aspects of the company. They had speakers who ranged from the technical aspect of AT&T to communications and even had a speaker who focused on meditation. While there were more conventional speakers, Dina appreciated the variation that AT&T provided. They were also given the opportunity to submit questions for the speakers, and the opportunity to email after and via LinkedIn if they wanted to connect with speakers.

Dina stated that they had time to view the lectures after they were recorded if they were not able to attend a live session, and they also had a week to complete modules following the sessions.

The program was very large, and Dina said there were thousands of students taking part. Participants knew other participants that were taking part in it via LinkedIn and had the opportunity to network if they desired to. Dina stated that there were perks to it being more independent and not required to adhere to a specific class-like schedule with set meetings.

Dina said that the opportunity has inspired her to continue in her major and minor, and made her realize the combination could be very beneficial when she is looking for job opportunities.

A career lesson that Dina took away from this is that it’s always good to broaden your skills and delve into things you might not be interested in. Dina had no interest in sales before but said that learning about it through the program was good.

By Alex Manna
Alex Manna Program Assistant/Employer Relations Coordinator, Stamford Campus Alex Manna