Apple interns are fully submersed in the company’s culture during their internships, and they’re not just “fetching coffee,” as Business Insider puts it. Despite the secrecy that surrounds everything related to Apple, some former interns for the company have posted details about their internship experience on Quora. They also detail some of the actual work they got done while they were temp hires for the company, revealing that interns are actually part of many important projects, even if not everything is fully disclosed to them.
“You get put on a real project, with real responsibilities, and have real impact on product outcomes,” Nate Sharp said, talking about his intern experience on the iPod Product Design group in 2008.
“It is actually really cool to see inside the sausage factory. In my case, I was able to watch Snow Leopard come together – from the early stages where it just look like Leopard and was unstable and broken, until just before it went gold,” Owen Yamauchi said, about his period at Apple (he worked there from 2008 to 2009).
However, interns are only given information about the projects they’re assigned to, and details about Apple’s other plans remain obscure. “The mere fact that I knew the codename ‘Snow Leopard’ months before it became publicly known felt kinda cool.” Yamauchi added. “Of course, I knew absolutely jack about anything else. I even filed bugs against the nascent iPhone SDK, only to have them disappear behind the Iron Curtain.”
In addition to working on actual projects and meeting many of Apple’s well-known leaders, interns also get good pay, extra support for those people coming from other countries, cheap housing and access to Apple’s programs. Sharpe revealed that in an iContest intern ideas contest he won a 1TB Time Capsule and $500 bonus for a team idea that led to an Apple patent, and that interns have access to the Executive Speaker Series where they meet key APple executives.
According to Sharpe, Apple treats interns almost like full employees, and interns that perform well during their internships often end up becoming full-time employees. One well-known jailbreak hacker was also an Apple intern last year, but he did not continue with the company.