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How to Get an Internship at PayPal, According to a Top Recruiter

  • PayPal’s internship program is one of the best ways to get your foot in the payments giant’s door.
  • He receives up to 300,000 applications each year for his internships and first roles.
  • Insider spoke with a PayPal hiring manager and a former intern to find out how candidates can stand out.

Payments giant PayPal is one of Silicon Valley’s most famous launch pads – some former PayPal employees went on to found other tech unicorns, while others took advantage of opportunities such as the “MBA internal” of the payments giant to improve their careers.

Getting a foot in the door can be a challenge – last year’s software engineering intern position alone received over 40,000 applications. Intern and new graduate positions typically receive between 200,000 and 300,000 applications each year, depending on the company.

Despite the huge volume of applications, only a few hundred successfully complete the internship program each year. (The company declined to provide specific numbers for the size of its intern class.) What it takes to land an internship at PayPal, and how interns can make the most of their summer to get an offer. back full time?

Insider spoke with Kerry Casey, global head of college recruiting at PayPal, to better understand the company’s recruiting process and find out how interns can stand out both during the application process and on the job.

When should I apply?

Recruitment for the Summer Class of 2023 officially began in early September. While applications will remain open until December, Casey says the sooner a candidate submits their material, the more opportunities there are.

In addition to looking for a demonstrated interest in the industry, Casey says his team seeks candidates who share PayPal’s values, which include innovation, collaboration and a commitment to community impact.

“We’re very, very value driven,” Casey told Insider. “In much of the resume work we review and the interviews we conduct, we look to see an alignment of values.”

Kerry Casey

Kerry Casey is Global Head of College Recruitment at PayPal.


Resume reviews also include selecting the skills needed for the types of projects an intern would work on, whether it’s programming experience for a software engineering job or analytical skills for a finance role. or in marketing, for example.

“There’s a strong connection between that functional area and that passion to give back and make a difference in your community, and so having areas that highlight that on a resume is something that would shine,” Casey said.

PayPal also partners with various organizations to help recruit students for internships, including CodeHouse, INROADS, National Association of Black Accountants, YearUp, and One Refugee.

The interview process varies slightly depending on the type of role – candidates for technical positions will complete a technical exam in addition to the two or three interviews with hiring managers required for non-technical positions. PayPal said it plans for all interviews this year to be virtual.

Interviews and hiring end at the end of January for the coming summer. Last summer, PayPal hosted interns from 206 different universities in its US offices. The company also offers internships throughout the year in its offices in Asia and Europe.

What is the program ?

Interns spend 12 weeks embedded with their teams, working in technical roles such as software engineering and machine learning, or other roles such as marketing, business development, and finance. Teams across the company hire interns, who tackle projects such as creating models to combat fraud risk for PayPal’s core product and developing business cases for QR codes Venmo.

Towards the end of the program, all interns make a presentation highlighting the work they have accomplished over the summer. Other professional development opportunities include resume and interview coaching, as well as a speaker series featuring PayPal executives such as CEO Dan Schulman and numerous networking opportunities.

PayPal even gets parents of students in on the action over the summer – during “PAYrents Week”, parents of interns get an overview of the company and the internship program, as well as attend presentations internship projects and fireside chats with business leaders.

Throughout the summer, interns can be exposed to other teams across the company through PayPal’s “Intern Marketplace,” an internal site where full-time employees looking for additional help with projects can post interns inviting to help.

Casey herself has taken advantage of the market in the past – last summer she worked with a group of interns to develop a homepage on the careers site dedicated to information about internships at the company.

Riya Godbole credits the intern market as one of the reasons she was able to secure a full-time position at PayPal after her internship in the summer of 2018. Godbole, a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles with a in business economics in 2019, was hired as a finance intern, but knew she was also interested in exploring more consumer-oriented marketing and product roles.

During his internship, Godbole worked on side projects in addition to his work for the finance team, including developing a Venmo marketing campaign and showcasing new Venmo product features.

Riya Godbole

Riya Godbole was able to turn her summer internship at PayPal into a full-time position after graduating from UCLA.

Riya Godbole

Godbole said the side projects helped her nurture her other interests while simultaneously demonstrating her interest in a full-time position with the company. She joined PayPal full-time in the summer of 2019 as a financial analyst and now works in growth marketing and user acquisition for Venmo.

“The side projects – I think that really showed that I was really interested in taking the initiative to go beyond that,” she said.

Which interns will receive offers?

Casey says interns who stand out excel in two key areas: organization and presentation skills. Being able to communicate well, she says, is something that is emphasized both within teams and throughout the organization.

Casey also stressed the importance of asking the trainees questions.

“I think a lot of times interns come in and think they’re supposed to have all the answers,” she said. “That’s not the point of an internship – an internship is to come in and learn.”

Casey and Godbole also suggested that interns take advantage of opportunities throughout the summer to expand their networks beyond the teams they work with directly, such as coffeehouses, volunteer days, and other programs to the employees.

Godbole said the connections she was able to make at the company not only helped her secure a full-time job offer, but also continued to guide her career at PayPal.

Through conversations over coffee during her internship, Godbole was able to meet an employee who had started at PayPal on a finance team and ended up moving into a product role, which she hoped to do a job herself. day.

“You may never know what you’re interested in working on until you talk to people, and it’s also a great opportunity to try talking to people who are much more experienced than you and see how they’ve come to this in their careers,” she said.

Another tip for interns looking to make a strong case for receiving a full-time offer is to keep a list of the different projects they work on during the program, which Godbole said is a useful reference when discussing with his manager and others. why she deserved a full-time role.

Regardless of what part of the company an intern works in, Casey pointed out that the internship program offers interns the opportunity to break into big tech, but also allows them to develop skills that will help them in any business. what industry.

“You’re going to work on something and you’re going to learn about the content or the functional area that you’re joining, but you’re also going to develop skills so that from here you have other knowledge that really completes you”, she said.

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