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Our Values

Putting Interns First at Handshake

An overview of Handshake’s Interns First internship program.

Handshake’s mission is to democratize opportunity for all college students seeking to build a meaningful career, regardless of where they go to school, who they know, or what they major in. Summer internships are a critical step of the student journey as they prepare to launch their post-college careers.

For the past few summers, we have welcomed groups of around ten interns from colleges and universities across the country. These students bring their unique experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds to Handshake. Over the course of their time at Handshake, they shared what it’s like to navigate their career journeys as a first-generation college student, a Black female engineer, a rural school student, and more. Their perspectives help us build a stronger community to democratize opportunity for students just like them.

Handshake's 2018 Summer Interns

One of Handshake’s core values is ‘Students First’. In designing Handshake’s summer internship program, we aimed to bring this value to life by creating an ‘Interns First’ experience.

Our ‘Interns First’ approach keeps students’ success top-of-mind by focusing on experiences, skills, and learning. We intentionally designed our program to empower and educate our interns — regardless of their background — with the knowledge and skills to build meaningful careers. We believe that internship programs at every company can be more intentional in implementing an inclusive internship experience for students of all backgrounds.

We designed Handshake’s Intern Program upon four main pillars:

  • Learning & Experience: Interns work on high-impact, cross-functional projects, giving them a chance to experience what it’s really like to work in their field.
  • Growth & Mentorship: We encourage regular, open feedback to help our interns learn and grow quickly.
  • Social Connection: Interns have opportunities to connect with key individuals across the company and our broader network, gaining insight into a variety of potential career paths.
  • Business Understanding: To ensure our interns had the same opportunity to thrive here at Handshake — regardless of their background — we hosted learning sessions on specific business norms such as paychecks, life at a large company vs a, start up, resume reviews, and interviewing skills.

We believe that every organization can create a more equitable, inclusive, and ‘Interns First’ program with access to more resources. In return, employers will benefit from different perspectives, mutually beneficial relationships with potential team members, and a compelling employer brand for college talent and beyond.

To learn more about opportunities with #TeamHandshake, explore our open roles at

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