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Pinterest Internship: four people discussing in front of computer

How To Apply for and Land a Competitive Pinterest Internship

by | Jan 22, 2021 | Internships

If you land a Pinterest internship, you’ll work for a major social media brand and network with the company’s recruiters early in your career path. These connections could help you secure a full-time job offer at Pinterest after college. And adding a household name to your resume will help you stand out in any future application process.

Pinterest offers eight- and 12-week summer internship programs in both technical and non-technical roles. Here’s an overview of the types of internships you can apply to, the application process, and the experience of working as a Pintern. 

3 Types of Pinterest Internship Opportunities

Pinterest internship: four people talking while looking at a computer

Pinterest primarily offers three different types of opportunities: engineering internships, sales internships, and an Engaged Scholars program. You can learn about these programs directly from the people who run them. On our podcast, we interviewed Deanna Okuno and Adriana Garcia, two members of the Pinterest University Recruitment Team. Listen to their thoughts here:  

Engineering Internships

Engineering internships make up the bulk of Pinterest’s programs for college students. These positions are part of the 12-week summer internship program and have been available every summer year after year. They’re open to students studying to become software engineers, especially (but not exclusively) students working toward a PhD in computer science or a related field.

Software engineering interns typically work in the San Francisco, Palo Alto, or Seattle offices in the United States, or in the Toronto offices in Canada. However, COVID-19 restrictions may cause Pinterns to work from home. 

Software engineering interns work on a variety of teams across different engineering orgs. They get to tackle real world problems and be involved in the full scope of company projects. They work on the site’s algorithms and can have a major impact on a user’s journey. For example, recent Pinterns worked on the site’s skin tone filters, which allow users to create a more personal experience.

By the end of this internship, students will have a good idea about what it’s like to work as a full-time software engineer at Pinterest.

Sales Internships 

Historically, Pinterest has also offered a sales internship. This is a non-technical role that’s open to students in a broader range of college degree programs.

A sales internship gives students the opportunity to learn what it’s like to work as a full-time account manager. Sales Pinterns will monitor how ads perform on the site and work with clients to help them understand and improve their ad results.

This is also a 12-week program, and students who participate typically work in Pinterest’s regional offices in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York. However, this program was postponed in 2020 because of COVID. As of this writing, there are no job postings for a 2021 sales internship program. Students interested in this role may have to wait until 2022 to apply.

Engaged Scholars Program

Another non-technical opportunity, the Engaged Scholars Program is an eight-week, unpaid developmental program. It’s aimed at college freshmen and sophomores who don’t yet have a strong enough resume to qualify for a standard internship. 

The Engaged Scholars Program prepares you to land a full-time internship during your later college years. Students who participate have access to a variety of different learning sections. There’s a small group mentorship component, and participants get to interact with Pinterest’s university recruiting team — a networking opportunity that could help you score a Pinterest internship later on. 

Where To Find Pinterest Internship Job Postings 

Pinterest internship: woman smiling and looking at the camera while typing on a computer

The best place to look for internship opportunities is on Pinterest’s careers site. But, the company also posts new jobs on Glassdoor. Their job postings for summer internships go up in January, so you’ll need to plan ahead and apply at the beginning of your spring semester. 

Pinterest’s university recruiters typically visit college career fairs. Attending one of these events gives you an opportunity to network with a recruiter before you apply, which can help you stand out in the application process. 

How To Apply for a Pinterest Internship 

Once you’ve found an opportunity you’re interested in, you can apply through the Pinterest careers site or through Glassdoor. Follow the prompts to submit your application materials, resume, and cover letter. But first, take a few simple steps to help your application stand out. 

Manage Your Online Presence 

Pinterest is a social media company, so they value applicants who understand what it takes to create a successful online presence. Sign up for professional networking sites like Scholars and LinkedIn. Here are a few things that will make your LinkedIn profile stand out

  • Keep it up-to-date with recent activity from full-time or part-time jobs, college courses and extracurriculars, and volunteer work.
  • Link to all your key projects so recruiters can easily see your work. 
  • Make sure you have a professional profile picture that shows only you dressed in professional clothing (no other people should be in the photo even if they’re cropped out).  
  • Start networking and connecting with classmates and colleagues.

If your other social media accounts — including your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest are public — make sure the content on them is work appropriate.  

Take a Second Look at Your Resume 

Your resume is the first thing that recruiters will see. Add your education information at the top, and include your expected graduation date so recruiters can easily determine which opportunities you’re eligible for: internships for current college students or entry-level roles for recent grads. 

If you’re applying to be a software engineering intern, you need to include your technical skills on your resume in their own section. List any programs or coding languages you’re familiar with. 

If this is your first time interning and you don’t have a lot of experience, you can highlight college coursework, extracurricular activities, volunteer work, and college projects. 

Make connections to the job description throughout your resume, but don’t over inflate your qualifications. An internship is meant to be a learning experience, so be honest about the skills you have and your level of proficiency with those skills.

Prepare for the Interview 

Once you make it to the interview round, Pinterest will send you prep materials. These materials are long, but don’t be deterred. Carefully reading through the materials will give you a leg up in the interview process. 

Part of the process for engineering internships includes a technical interview. Pinterest’s recruiters recommend you practice the answers to the technical interview questions. You can ask your friends to help you by acting like the interviewer. 

You’ll also hear some common interview questions that recruiters use to learn about your soft skills. The interviewer may ask you about your problem solving skills or communication style. Plan answers for these questions as well. 

Pinterest uses virtual and phone interviews throughout their screening process. So, test your internet connection in advance, check your background and lighting, and make sure your environment looks professional. On the day of the interview, log in early so you have time to troubleshoot if anything goes wrong. 

The better you present yourself in the interview process, the better your chances of landing the internship, so practice and prepare until you feel confident.

What To Expect From Your Pinterest Internship 

four people talking while sitting on beanbag chairs around a table

After you ace your interview, you’ll be ready for your first day of work. Here’s the environment you’ll walk into, the work you’ll do, and the things you’ll learn. 

Pinterest Culture

The culture at Pinterest is very collaborative, and interns are a big part of the collaboration. They get to work on high-impact and highly visible projects. 

You won’t necessarily have to work on things that are less interesting just because you’re an intern. Pinterest may no longer be a startup, but they maintain their startup values: Every employee can make an impact and help solve problems.  

Programs for Interns 

Interns get dedicated one-on-one mentorship and access to all the tools and programs Pinterest offers its employees. They can participate in Pinterest employee resource groups, which allow you to network and learn. These programs aren’t mandatory but they are open to every Pintern. 

The savvy intern will sign up for as many groups as they can because each group will offer different social events, panels, and opportunities for those involved. They’ll allow you to network and learn what it’s like to work in different departments. 

Even in the midst of the pandemic, Pinterest continued to offer virtual social networking events like trivia night, coffee chats with executives, and their annual terrarium building event.

What You’ll Take Away From Your Pinterest Internship 

Pinterest wants every intern to leave the program having learned to do three things: 

  • Embrace personal growth: Don’t expect to stay in your comfort zone. Pinterest will give you challenging work so that you can grow. 
  • Be curious: Ask questions, and adopt a “Win or Learn” mindset. The Pinterest team believes that every experience is an opportunity to win or to learn something new.  
  • Demonstrate “caring with candor”: Be open to receiving feedback, and learn to view it as an opportunity for growth, but also be open about sharing feedback with your team and co-workers so everyone can learn together. 

You Could Be the Next Pintern 

Now that you know all about the Pinterest internship programs that are available — plus how to ace the application process — you’re ready to get out there and take the social media world by storm. 

At Pinterest, you’ll work on a product that millions of people use everyday to create a life they love, and you’ll be able to have a direct impact on that product. That’s an exciting opportunity that could impact your career for years to come. Good luck on your application!

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