Navigating My Internship: Kaylee Cibrian

There are numerous paths to start with in the tech industry, some of which might be more people-focused rather than engineering-focused! Kaylee Cibrian shares her experience as a Communications & Employee Engagement Intern based in the USA. Read more about the skills that she gained, and how her team supported her every step of the way.

Discovering Guidewire

Hi, I'm Kaylee and I've been working as a Communications and Employee Engagement Intern at Guidewire.

In all honesty, I was not too familiar with Guidewire before applying to the position. I was messaged by an amazing recruiter (Sephorah) via Handshake and saw that my skills lined up very well with the job description. After applying, I did some research and found myself getting excited about Guidewire and hoping to land the role! Guidewire is unique in its industry in my opinion, and I love the effort that was made from the interviewing process and throughout. Everyone here is so helpful and eager for me to succeed, so I'm always kept in the loop of opportunities or information to support that growth.

My favorite thing about my role has been my team. I have been very fortunate to have joined such a supportive and encouraging team. They truly just want me to do my best and create a space for me to do so! I am constantly asked about my interests and my strengths and am able to pick up projects where I feel I can excel. I also love how interactive and social my role is as apart of the intercom team, I am able to communicate with so many people on a daily basis.

Kaylee and Grace in front of Guidewire logo - San Mateo Office

Unlocking Potential

My day to day as a remote intern includes logging onto my computer, knowing there will be something new and exciting everyday. Guidewire is a special place as we all work pretty collaboratively and closely for such a large company. I mainly work on communications for our specialized internal platform, G-net, and by doing so I receive content from all around the world, from our headquarters in California, USA, to APAC and EMEA. I've had the chance to work closely with folks in our Bengaluru and our Kuala Lumpur offices, too. For this aspect of my role I needed to ensure optimal time management skills as I often need to be online 8:00am sharp everyday in order to communicate with folks in different time zones. Thankfully, this has been quite doable once I adjusted. Learning how to prioritize my workload helped a lot with time management.

It sounds like common sense for a Communications major, but definitely knowing my audience has been the most valuable skill I sharpened during my time here so far. My internship has been a combination of the Intercom Team and the wider People Team, therefore I had to learn how to communicate to an internal audience. Simple things such as knowing what my audience already knows or doesn't know, helped me to write more concisely, and spread relevant, timely information. It is much different than communicating externally to those who need more context regarding Guidewire.

How Guidewire Stands Out

Flexibility. Guidewire really surprised me with their efforts on work-life balance. With policies such as WFH (work from home) and programs like the WFA program (work from anywhere program), they truly just want their employees to live their lives while bringing their best selves to work. Even as an intern, I still got to enjoy so many amazing benefits such as PTO (personal time off), sick leave, and volunteer hours. Also, special mention to our wellness benefit, and mental health days on Fridays.

My team has truly been phenomenal and I couldn't have asked for a better one. They have created such a safe space for me to bring my best work to the table. They constantly ask about my workload, my interests, and my goals. They've given me so many opportunities to work on interesting projects, resulting in me being able to thrive and motivate myself. One of my favorite projects was having full ownership of Mike Rosenbaum's APAC (Asia-Pacific) trip news article, this included: a 1:1 interview with Mike himself, writing the content myself, designing the template layout for the article, choosing the images, and publishing the content on G-net.

I was able to attend my team's offsite in Orlando, Florida last summer! We bonded over in-person working sessions, fun games, Disney World, and team dinners. This, and the GCC (Guidewire Community Connections) event in Southern California that I got to attend, really allowed me to feel a sense of belonging and pride in my role at Guidewire.

Kaylee Cibrian and InterComm Team Members

#LeapFurther at Guidewire

I truly believe that Guidewire has single handedly changed the trajectory of my career. This has been my first internship experience and by being the first, Guidewire had the power to choose the narrative of my mindset. However, I feel, as a professional, my career has only just began! I have been able to see how communications operates in a business setting, it's importance, and work in content creation- including writing the interview with our CEO and make many meaningful connections. Guidewire has gifted me a team full of mentors who have opened so many doors for me. I have been able to not only understand what my role means in a business but how others operate within the business too.

I have had so many amazing opportunities to network with both individuals and entire departments. Aside from accompanying my team on their offsite and attending the Guidewire Community Connections event here in Southern California, the Guidewire Basecamp internship program issued lots of networking events for interns to meet leaders in our company. I also had the privilege of attending and working on the NextGen (employee resource group) Summit, which delivered in its intention to connect all people within Guidewire, wherever you are in your career. I learned that people at Guidewire truly want their peers to grow together, and it was exciting to navigate these many conversations and connections.

My main motivation for applying for the position was knowing that my skillset fit the role description. I knew that this was a job I could excel at if given the chance and I am just so grateful that this was the case. Attending university in San Francisco there is definitely the expectation of getting into the tech industry at some point, and as a Communications major, I did not really pay too much attention to that idea; I could not imagine my skillset in the industry. The industry can be pretty intimidating and I was nervous to get into tech, but I can see now how essential communications is in any business.

#StayClever with Guidewire Basecamp

"Do not be afraid to speak up". This is the exact advice I would give myself and I know how hard it is to take. As interns/employees starting a new position and having to learn the ropes, it can be intimidating to ask questions or for clarification. However, trust me, if I was as comfortable as I am now a month ago, I can assure you my confidence and skills would be even better than what they have become now. Your managers want you to succeed so make sure you are giving yourself every opportunity to do so by understanding.

Personally, success to me looks like an unwavering sense of confidence in my role and job security. I am a first-generation student and have worked very hard to be where I am today. As a result, I tend to get a lot of imposter syndrome in regards to my skills. I am grateful to have already found a career that I love and am excited to be in; but as my career develops, I think maintaining and growing that confidence in my skills will remain super important!

Are you a recent graduate or currently enrolled in university or college? Navigate what's next with Guidewire Basecamp- Click here to check out our current open roles for internships and graduate positions.

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