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An AOL internship: More than just coffee and hackathons

3 Nov 2016441 Views

There’s a perception that internships offer little more than a crash course in coffee-making and coffee delivery. Some, however, go quite a bit further.

It’s easy to imagine that tech internships wouldn’t involve a whole lot of hands-on work with real-life projects – a tiny code error can have a disproportionately large knock-on effect on a product. As a result, many programmes fall back on hackathons, giving interns a taste of coding through projects that are safely separate from the company’s public offering.

AOL takes a different tack.

Every year, the tech giant offers two nine-month programmes in Dublin. While the initial month of the internship is spent on a single test project, hackathon-style, the intern is then assigned to an active engineering team for the remaining eight months.

Interns are fully integrated into the AOL team; participating in daily scrum meetings, writing live production code and even enjoying the benefits of the company’s Sports and Social club.

Designed to develop technical and communication skills, the programmes introduce interns to the fun, but challenging, environment of real-life tech work.

Conor Thompson, who has just completed an internship at AOL, found that the programme helped him to grow in his career. In fact, he said, he could see himself changing.

AOL’s internship programme is currently open to applicants. Applications can be submitted via

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Kirsty Tobin
By Kirsty Tobin

Kirsty served as Silicon Republic’s Careers Editor from when she joined the company in 2015 up to August 2017. When she was younger, she had a dream where she started and won a fight with a T-Rex, so she’s pretty sure she kicked butt at this, too. Passions include eating all the cake, watching more TV than is healthy, and sassy comebacks. Her favourite thing on the internet is, and will likely remain, Pun Dog.

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