As we celebrate another National Intern Day, we’re thrilled to shine a spotlight on three exceptional interns who have made a mark during their time in UKG’s Intern Academy. These talented interns have shown unwavering dedication, creativity, and a passion for learning. Join us as we celebrate their remarkable contributions and summer of growth.
Tom Haugen, Global Finance and Operations Intern
Our purpose is people: I was motivated to pursue an internship with UKG after learning about the company’s promise to prioritize people. UKG’s company culture is immersive, supportive, and encouraging. I was drawn to the people-centric approach to work, and I felt that an opportunity with UKG would be a rewarding experience.
I work in UKG’s internal audit department as one of the Global Finance and Operations (GFO) interns. This field appealed to me because of its objectively analytical nature. Internal audit is a fundamental and critical part of the business world, and I learned a lot during my internship. As an intern, I had the ability to serve as a source of operational improvement for UKG, which was particularly impactful.
A summer of learning: Within the internal audit department, I served a complementary role on many projects. One of my largest endeavors at UKG this summer has been migrating legacy data onto a new auditing software. As the department looks to onboard a new auditing platform, I have helped expedite this process. This new platform intends to streamline the auditing process and increase efficiency within the department. I have enjoyed playing a role in such an important project. I have learned how to effectively manage and organize data and create a better user experience.
Mastering the art of communication: Something that I have previously struggled with is asking questions about my work and voicing my thoughts. I am proud to have prioritized advancing this skill during my internship. Whether it’s asking my mentor clarifying questions, offering potential suggestions, or simply checking in with fellow coworkers, I have improved my ability to effectively communicate. UKG’s supportive culture has helped me in this.
Nurtured for success: I have received an abundance of support from throughout the company. UKG’s Intern Academy itself has a huge support system, and I have met many other interns both in the office and virtually. These interns, while not necessarily within my department, have been a great resource in learning about other fields and navigating the internship experience. The program also has many professionals that have made themselves available to us through meet and greets or virtual programming.
I am also paired with a fantastic mentor in my department, and I have learned both directly from him and experientially. In working with my mentor and manager, I have been exposed to many different projects within the internal audit department, and I have been supported every step of the way.
Collaborative learning: I’ve had the opportunity to meet other employees through “Lunch and Learns,” in which I, along with the other GFO interns, have lunch with an employee from another department and learn about their career path and receive advice. These meetings are a terrific way to meet with the other GFO interns, our communications manager, and a new employee every week. UKG also encouraged us interns to join a Young Professionals Teams channel that was a phenomenal resource for meeting other interns and young employees who can provide guidance.
The path to success: I believe the most successful internship from both an intern and manager perspective originates from a high effort level. The intern that poses insightful questions, prioritizes connecting and meeting with others, asks for more work, and steps outside of their comfort zone will find themselves with the most rewarding experience. The manager that introduces their intern to peers, ensures that their intern is receiving impactful work, and provides them with intentional guidance will create the best experience for their intern.
Shania Ali, Data Quality Analyst Intern
A part of something: I had never heard of UKG before applying for the internship. One day, I was looking at my school agenda and saw a posting for “UKG Day: Career and Internship Fair.” I did my research and knew I had to attend the fair. I met with Gracie Tolman, senior manager for talent acquisition, and her energy and how she described working at UKG made me motivated to apply for an internship here. She talked about the limitless opportunities, space for growth, and the culture. When I talked to the other recruiters, they had just as much joy in their voice when they were talking about their experience. I felt like I was a part of something, even before securing an internship. I knew from the beginning that UKG was where I belonged and that was what motivated me to pursue this internship opportunity.
Learning from your mistakes: I am a Sales Data Quality Analyst Intern here at UKG and I work heavily in Salesforce and D&B Hoovers. This internship is the first where I have used Salesforce and I have learned a lot. I have learned that to do something at your best, you need to have trial and error. The more mistakes you make, the more you learn, which ultimately leads to better work quality and integrity. I know that I have made plenty of mistakes, especially when working with a software I’ve never been exposed to. But thanks to my mentors, I was able to grow and learn and eventually help them out as well.
Expanding horizons: One specific achievement that I am proud of is how I was able to get out of my comfort zone as quickly as I did and connect with others. I am generally a shy person and usually keep to myself. However, because of the welcoming environment, I was able to connect with the Atlanta interns and we are such a close-knit group! I take this as a huge achievement because I know how important connecting is, and overcoming my fear of talking to new people will open doors for me in the future.
Finding support: I’m glad that I had the Sales Data Quality team support throughout my journey here at UKG. If it wasn’t for their patience in answering all my questions and determination to teach me, I would not be able to do my role as well as I do. I also had the interns in Atlanta to help guide me with any question that wasn’t related to my primary role. The leaders in charge of the internship program were also very helpful and had check-ins to see if I needed any additional help, which I really appreciated. Everyone always has something to bring to the table, and I know that I never leave any conversation empty handed when talking to interns or employees here at UKG.
Connecting with peers: I am lucky to have a lot of interns based alongside me in Atlanta. I go to the office every week even though my position is fully remote. I love being involved in the office and seeing other interns really makes my day. Wednesday is a day that’s dedicated for interns to work with each other and on group projects. Even though the interns in the Atlanta office and I don’t have the same group, we love being in the same room and working on our own projects alongside each other. It is such a great feeling!
Embody authenticity: My advice for intern candidates would be to come out of your shell and be your authentic self always! You will find countless opportunities right in front of you. Bring your authenticity to the table and I guarantee you will see how much you fit in.
Also, ask a lot of questions! I used to be a person who hated asking questions because I felt annoying, but trust me, nobody wants to see you fail. They will appreciate you for being proactive in your learning and see that you are trying to learn.
My advice for managers would be to create an environment where interns feel comfortable coming to you with questions. You are their first interaction and creating a solid foundation for them to lean on is important. I also encourage managers to reach out to them 1:1 and create a unique relationship with them personally. This contributes to the welcoming environment that will make interns feel comfortable in their role.
Jeffrey Cheng, Product Business Analyst Intern
A transformative journey: The description for the Business Analyst role was open ended. However, as I moved through the interview process, I was excited to learn about product management and how business analysts support their role. I also wanted an internship opportunity that helped me grow as a person. UKG has an Internship Academy that mixes fun social events with professional development opportunities. To top it all off, my manager communicated a strong sense of collaboration in the work I would do, which was a trait I valued and needed in a job. The internship program at UKG exceeded all my expectations.
Empowered to grow: I have spent much of my time here on three main projects. Researching competitors and producing competitive analysis reports has been a large part of my work. It is rewarding to know that this research will help product managers I work alongside become more product-led, a change in line with UKG’s goals. My second project is assisting product managers within scheduling and forecasting on incorporating skills to ensure maximum value to our customers. Outside of working with product managers, I am also working with another intern on a generative AI presentation to provide various use-case suggestions. We will present our findings at the end of our internship. While these are the main projects I have worked on, I have had the opportunity to work on many other smaller projects. I have been able to learn something new at every stage of my internship.
Collective knowledge unlocked: I participated in Spark Tank—a quarterly hybrid event where any U Krewer can pitch innovative ideas for our customer solutions or internal processes—with four other interns. Our idea was a Wellness Hub that would be integrated into the UKG Suite. With very limited time we were able to go from ideation to creating a semi-functional demo with a front-end. Working with the other interns also taught me the value of teamwork and what can be achieved with more brains solving the same problem. I also saw how intelligent and thoughtful the other interns were, which made me even more appreciative to be a part of the project.
Champions of growth: The best resource at UKG is all the brilliant people that work here. When I didn’t know something, people were willing to spend the extra minute to help me learn. From new terminology to understanding UKG’s offerings, I felt supported from the people I interacted with. My manager, Nancy Lord, was especially great at showing me the ropes. She encouraged me to ask questions and explore different topics to further my knowledge. Additionally, she and everyone on her team would invite me to different meetings where I could listen in and share my opinions. I felt my perspective and presence was valued in every interaction I had.
Fostering camaraderie: There were several fun events for interns in the Lowell, MA, office, both off-site and virtually. I especially enjoyed going to Dave & Busters for an afternoon of arcade games and good food. Outside of these scheduled events, being in-person has made it easy to grab lunch with other interns. Virtually, there are also several outlets including LinkedIn, different Microsoft Teams channels, and the Unified Learning platform—UKG’s digital foundational learning experience, where we celebrate differences, work to mitigate bias, and support every team member to reach their full potential.
Asking for help: Keep an open mind and an open ear. I reached out to many people within the organization to hear their stories and what they love about working at UKG. Not only was I able to network with people, but I also learned how their role delivered value to UKG. Also, do not be afraid to express confusion or ask for help because people around you want to help. By asking questions, I have learned more about topics that I did not even know existed.