I worked at Ancestry for three months during the summer of 2015 in an internship capacity before pursuing my MBA. Now that two months have passed since my departure, I can speak from the perspective of a memorable experience as well as speak safely outside any walls of obligation. I have a good friend applying for an Ancestry internship, and I’ve decided to write out my advice, thoughts and learnings for his and my posterity’s sake.
- Passion in the workplace. You haven’t seen passion in the workplace until you part the leaves of this tree and see the Ancestry employees at work. Helping you connect with your progenitors is truly at the root of their motivation and key to the company’s growth. Understanding this ubiquitous trait sets the tone for the rest of my learnings there.
- Speak up. If you have an idea that may help an individual make an ancestral discovery, speak up! Ancestry management is eager to vet any idea regardless of the source (including from the mouth of an intern!) as long as it furthers the work. The Ancestry culture is kind to new ideas so throw them out there on day one!
- Hard work. Pursuant to the previous points, passion plus postulation creates lots of opportunity. You will discover within you a desire to become more efficient with your time so as to maximize your effort. If you pursue an opportunity at Ancestry, be prepared to work hard. Don’t be surprised when you like it.
- Productive environment. Before beginning at Ancestry, I was fully expecting the Ancestry headquarters to be not unlike the Hogwarts castle with frequent visitations of ghosts of ancestors past. It’s not. Do, however, expect to find several team/conference rooms with which to coordinate activities from counterparts across the globe.
- International exposure. With offices in Australia, Ireland, UK, Sweden and Germany, expect collaboration from unique perspectives that will challenge the way you think. At weird hours of the day and often in delightful accents. Being familiar with the Ancestry international footprint and its colleagues will be time well spent and a great source of outside knowledge and experience.
To say I appreciated my time at Ancestry would be an understatement. I’m a lifetime fan and user of Ancestry and its products; send me a message if you’d like to chat further on either!
About Dan Pawlowski
Dan Pawlowski worked as a Marketing intern at Ancestry from May to August 2015. In 2012 he received his bachelor degree in Advertising and is currently pursuing an MBA at Brigham Young University. When Dan is not working or studying he enjoys golfing, reading and spending time with his beautiful 9-month-old daughter.