How Our Paid Intern Program Helped Us Develop Our Company Culture

How Our Paid Intern Program Helped Us Develop Our Company Culture

Rachel Bullock

I just hired our 25th employee.

I have every confidence in the world Avery will contribute to the success of our company, work well with the team, and grow in her career.

How do I know?

Avery Archie is a graduate of our Intern Program.

I started Render Media’s Intern Program in the summer of 2012, back when we had just a handful of employees. Today 40% of our full-time staff interned with us first. They all hold meaningful roles and have been some of the greatest contributors to our wins thus far. We have been able to promote from within thanks to our program, a huge source of pride for our staff. Several of our employees who started as interns are now in executive or management roles at Render, including our Director of Business Development, Aryeh Kluger, and our Senior Editor, Leanne Hall.

Formalizing the Intern Program allowed us to create the culture we wanted at our company; one based on trust, transparency, mutual respect, recognizing talent, and growing smart, hard-working people into leaders.

How It Works

Paid: I firmly believe no one should work for free. From the start of our program, we invested in valuing our interns’ time by paying them and offering school credit.

Personalized: Interns are assigned a supervisor who provides goals, instruction and feedback, and meets with them 1x1 every week. They are given the freedom to contribute ideas and to go beyond their daily tasks, and great work is recognized in regular intern spotlight emails that go out company-wide.

Cross-Discipline: Weekly Render Media University trainings expose interns to the different roles and careers at a startup and give them a glimpse into the digital media world. Our full-time employees across all areas of the business -- including Editorial, PR, Video Production, Sales and Business Development -- dedicate their time every quarter to engage and train interns.

All of these factors result in a positive and meaningful experience for our interns. Our HR Coordinator, Sasha Melendez-Goldman, now runs our Intern Program, adapting and expanding the program to meet Render’s needs as we grow.

Benefits to Company

The learning that happens during internships goes both ways; teaching our full-time employees how to supervise and manage interns also helps us train and develop them into staff managers. The program also helps us quickly identify areas where we need more resources.

In a startup environment, establishing a healthy company culture is a critical part of continued success. Company culture is a big factor in attracting, developing and retaining top talent that will help take you to the next stages of your growth.

A strong Intern Program can help you get there.

I believe our company’s culture has been one of the greatest factors in propelling us forward as we become one of the fastest growing media companies in the country, and establishing it would not have been possible without this program.

To learn more about our career opportunities, visit us at