How a marketing operations intern at Red Hat learned to embrace the open source way

An internship that harnesses the power of community

Collaborating around the world
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I was both nervous and excited to begin my intern experience at Red Hat. I followed a path slightly different from that of the typical intern, having worked previously in the corporate world and then spending time at home with my children. While I looked into my options for returning to work, I spoke with several people at Red Hat who were very open to meeting with me, encouraged my interest in marketing analytics, and provided me with other resources and contacts. The result of those conversations was this amazing opportunity to intern with Red Hat's marketing operations team.

Little did I know that the openness of the Red Hat employees I met on this journey hinted at the cultural experience I would have throughout my internship at the company. My team welcomed me into the group and asked my opinion of possible assignments so they could play to my interests and strengths while giving me opportunities to learn and add value to the team. From the start, my team encouraged me to offer my ideas and to take on tasks I saw needed to be handled. Overall, I've really been blown away by the environment, which was so different than what I've experienced with previous employers.

Collaboration is key at Red Hat. Team members always encourage me to ask them questions, and they ask me for my input as well. I feel supported in team meetings, where we attempt to eliminate any roadblocks or issues we may be having. Every week, my team holds a "start/stop/continue review," where any team member can suggest ideas, actions, behaviors, etc. for the group to initiate, to consider stopping, or to affirm we should continue doing.

I've received various assignments during my internship. Initially, my team tasked me with updating the group's business continuity plan, a task that involved developing a cross-organization communication plan. Working on this project was a great way to understand the roles each team plays, to learn their processes and system dependencies, and to contribute value for our group and the other Red Hatters we serve. From there, I helped brainstorm and scope out ideas and approaches for revamping the group's presence on the company's internal communications platform (Mojo) so we could provide more compelling information and better navigation to the group's efforts, processes, and documentation.

Through it all, I've been very impressed with Red Hat's collaborative approach, the openness of team members to share and contribute, and the wide variety of projects and activities available to interns. I have learned the value of what Jim Whitehurst, in The Open Organization, calls "harnessing the power of the community." We really do accomplish more by working together and leveraging the strengths and ideas of our team members.

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Intern
Stories

This article is part of the series of Red Hat Intern Stories. These interns share their experiences about what it’s been like to work for an open organization, and more.

About the author

Barbara Ann Spangler - Barbara Ann Spangler is a Marketing Operations Intern this summer at Red Hat. She has a B.A. in Economics/Business Administration with a background of data analysis, process improvement, organizational behavior, and documentation. She was a stay at home mom returning to the workforce and excited about the intern opportunity at Red Hat. She is a student in the business analytics program at WakeTech interested in marketing analytics and who loves the challenge of learning new things. She found...