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My Oracle virtual internship: What I learned as a product management intern this summer

Hi! I’m Tiffany and I’ve just completed a 12-week summer internship at Oracle. I joined the Product Lifecycle Management team as a product management intern. A little bit about me: I’m a rising junior at the University of California, Berkeley where I’m studying computer science with a special interest in design innovation. This was Oracle’s first ever virtual internship so I was super excited to be part of it. Now let me tell you about my time as an Oracle intern—and everything I’ve learned along the way.

The first two weeks

The first week of my internship was a whirlwind of onboarding events. We zoomed (literally!) through talks about Oracle values, products, and “must-have” intern skills. We also heard from some senior Oracle executives like Steve Miranda. The intern class was over one hundred students strong and it was nice to see so many students from Berkeley (go Bears!). For me, one of the best things about my first week was getting to set up my MacBook Pro that was kindly sent to me by Oracle.

Week two quickly came around the corner and our regularly scheduled onboarding sessions were replaced with real work for my team. The Product Lifecycle Management team is responsible for product development and Product Hub (product information management). I spent this week getting familiar with the all the tools that my team uses and figuring out where all the assets were located. My awesome manager walked me through product development and showed me where everything was.

This was my first time using and interacting with a B2B product so I was glad that my manager was always around to answer any of my questions. My manager also gave me a rundown of the organizational structure within my team, and organized an intro meeting with my extended colleagues which gave me some good insight into how the organization runs.

The work

From week three onwards, I got heavily involved working in real projects. Coming into the internship, I was mainly interested in learning about product management and utilizing my design and technical skills. I worked on two main projects as well as a handful of side projects. To boil it down, the main projects consisted of scoping out requirements and use cases, creating high-fidelity mockups for the product/feature, and facilitating customer calls to further define the requirements/use cases. The side projects were mostly design oriented, and sourced from the all the people I reached out to in my team. The amazing thing with these projects was that I got the chance to do the same things that a real product manager at Oracle would do. I took on full responsibility for researching and documenting the requirements and specs, and control over what I wanted the UI to look like.

I also facilitated feedback calls and meetings with both internal and overseas customers. Being part of the process of developing new features was a really eye-opening experience that showed me how the team/company operates. It taught me who to go to and when to ask for help to get things done quickly and efficiently. And the great thing about the work I’ve done for Oracle is that, down the road, the final product will have my fingerprints on it and I’ll be able to see where I’ve made an impact.

Some things I’ve learned

  1. Talk to everyone and anyone:

    This internship is not only the perfect chance to learn about a new industry and company, but also to meet new people and network. There are so many bright and diverse individuals at Oracle, every single person I talked to shared new experiences and insights. Taking the opportunity to reach out to others allowed me to learn about Oracle and its processes outside of my team, giving me a more holistic view of what goes on. This is the perfect time to reach out and introduce yourselves to others—you never know what you might learn!

  2. Think big and be bold:

    As an intern, you bring fresh ideas and innovation into the product space. You’re able to see the products in a different light than someone who might be working on it for 10+ years. And, as a new user and product manager, you can bring forth pain points that customers can resonate with. Although not all of your ideas may be feasible to carry out during your internship, I still found it worthwhile to record them for the future. By doing so, you can get ideas churning with your team and start to get them to imagine new possibilities. And even though you may not be able to see the idea come to fruition, perhaps down the road it’ll pop up as a feature and you’ll be able to say, “I suggested that!”

  3. Go to meetings:

    More specifically, meetings that might not be in your team. Earlier in my internship I had the chance to sit in on some scrum meetings and developer meetings outside of my team and I found that it was a great way to gain insight into how other teams function and how they differ from your team. It’s pretty amazing to see how work is divided and how everyone gets the job done. These meetings are also a chance to learn about the different roles at Oracle and see if there might be other career choices that you’re interested in.

The perks—and the fun!

Being part of a global company, I was truly in awe of the wonderfully diverse people I got to work with and the amount of resources we had on hand. From employee resource groups like Oracle Women’s Leadership (OWL) to personal 1:1s with product managers, developers, and strategists, you name it, the support was there. I’ve witnessed Oracle’s inclusive and welcoming community first-hand. Even though I was working autonomously and in full control of a certain project, defining my own scope, timeline, and goals, I never felt alone. I was always just one Slack message away from receiving help from the people on my team. This experience was so valuable because it helped me build confidence in my career as an aspiring product manager and designer which I lacked before.

Although this was a completely virtual internship, the recruitment team made sure it was full of social activities and fun! We had weekly intern events ranging from tech talks about up-and-coming things Oracle is working on, to workout sessions with the company’s trainer. I even received surprise “swag packages” in my mail which always helped make my day brighter! And although we couldn’t go into the office to try all the great food, we were covered with free UberEats all summer long.

The future

My summer internship at Oracle has helped me explore future career paths by working on important projects and networking with Oracle employees from different backgrounds. Going forward, I hope to pursue opportunities in product management, total productive maintenance, and data science. I’m incredibly grateful for this experience and can’t wait to apply what I’ve learned in my future career!

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