I still remember the moment I got an invite to have coffee with CEO Howard Schultz.
Starbucks is a Fortune 500 company, named one of the Top 50 Most Innovative Companies in the World by Forbes, and is a globally recognized brand. They offer summer internships to undergrad and MBA students across various divisions.
Swag, Housing, and Intern Events
For those who make it through the application process you will find incredible events, upscale housing, and coffee swag.
Starbucks’ internships are paid — and compensated at a competitive level — but the true value was the ability to network with company leaders.
Starbucks coordinated a speaker series with various executives where interns had the opportunity to ask questions about the company, career development, and life. Events also included a harbor cruise, private tours of Starbucks’ Reserve Roastery and corporate offices, executive-level professional speaking coaching, and attending a Sounders match from a private suite.
FWIW, I was never asked to get someone coffee.
In my department I had a direct-report manager who assigned me a project and was regularly available for advice. My work utilized my business school knowledge to evaluate a current Starbucks process and present a final report to company managers, a director, and a vice president, regarding my suggested improvements.
The work was challenging, the project was meaningful, and I was encouraged to meet with employees, managers, directors, and VPs in order to complete my project and learn more about the company.
All of the partners (employees) that I met with were genuinely kind, knowledgeable, and passionate people.
And then there was that day we got a calendar invite to meet with CEO Howard Schultz.
Our intern class had the humbling opportunity to sit down with Schultz for a little over an hour, during which he shared his vision for Starbucks, offered career advice, and allowed us to ask questions relating to life, the business world, and the company.
I was floored at his humility, wisdom, and graciousness as he spent time with us.
All Good Things Come to An End
The closing event was an night of mingling backdropped by a breathtaking view of Seattle’s skyline. Multiple Starbucks executives joined us at the event where we shared stories, enjoyed incredible food, and gained wisdom from many of the people who are at the helm of Starbucks’ corporate team.
It was incredible. The Starbucks internship is everything an internship should be — and more. I highly recommend it to any student who is looking for a life-changing, skill-building, and career-preparing experience.
I enjoyed it so much that I accepted a position that Starbucks offered at the conclusion of the internship, which will commence at the end of my senior year!
Need help getting a Fortune 500 internship of your own? Reach out here!