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    Posted June 21, 2013 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    What was your best internship?

    Are You LinkedIn?


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     As a sales and operations intern with LinkedIn, tpae14 says he spends the majority of his day on 'meaty projects' with 'a lot of "ownership" in an internship setting.' Perks include 'pretty much all the free food you could eat in a day,' which he jokingly calls the LinkedIn 15.
    - jccarp, CNN iReport producer

    From the Military to the Civilian World: How one Veteran and current MBA saw his opportunity at LinkedIn



    The room was pretty open but seats were quickly being occupied one by one within minutes. There were about 100 chairs nicely aligned, all facing towards the stage. A quick audio check was done. I saw an open seat three rows from the front. You could see eyes scanning the room. People were excited as you could feel the anticipation. A little past 10AM, the room turned quiet as a man walked to the front of the stage. It was the CEO of LinkedIn, Jeff Weiner—Tech Crunch’s CEO of the Year. But before he began his talk about current and future plans for LinkedIn, he stopped, looked around, and welcomed the crowd of new interns eagerly waiting to hear every word come out of his mouth. Yep—this is transparency. This is an inclusive culture. This is just another day at LinkedIn.


    My journey towards my internship started from a career service posting at my MBA program, Columbia Business School. I saw that I had a connection with a former high school schoolmate who currently worked there and I reached out to her for more information. Not only did she convince me to apply, she evangelized the company and encouraged me to take ownership of my LinkedIn presence. You see, I came from the military. I had served overseas in combat both in Iraq and Afghanistan and although I had a semester of business school under my belt, I still wasn’t quite sure what personal online branding was. I know a lot more now!


    I applied for the job and with the amazing support and encouragement of the campus recruiting team (despite a non-technology company background), I was brought on board for the summer in the Global Sales Operations Team. Right away I had access to all the key influencers and received major responsibility from the start. Like the military experience I had in the past, I felt immediate cohesion. Everyone, from my manager to LinkedIn employees outside my group, gave me the support that I had famously heard so much of here at this company. Even though I might not be as experienced as those who are around me, I know I bring a different set of skills and viewpoints that will help LinkedIn continue their exponential growth.


    I’m craving new opportunities and meeting passionate, smart people every day. Thankfully LinkedIn has fed my hunger, both figuratively and literally, hey—free food and Food Truck Friday’s are perks I can live with! Now it’s time to roll up the sleeves, get work done, and help the 225 million (and growing) members utilize their profile to find their economic opportunities. The one question still remains: I’m LinkedIn. Are you?

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