Entrepreneurs

Inside Facebook: What it's like to be an intern for Mark Zuckerberg and company

Founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg
Photo by Bloomberg
Founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg

Ever wish you could peek inside the halls of Facebook to find out what it's like to work for Mark Zuckerberg and his tech behemoth?

Interns get that opportunity. They are also well-paid for their time: At $8,000 per month, Facebook summer interns make more than the average American.

Those with the coveted internships report back that there's lots of free food, the work is intense but rewarding and "Mark Zuck, the CEO, is also a relatively cool guy," according to one software engineer intern in Menlo, Ga.

Here are anonymous firsthand accounts of what it's like to be an intern at Facebook. The comments were submitted to jobs website Glassdoor and have been edited for length and clarity.

Mark "Zuck" is cool

"Great benefits and the place has lots of food. Mark Zuck, the CEO, is also a relatively cool guy.

"The atmosphere isn't always the best and some colleagues are really hipster like. Sometimes, colleagues would get upset that I solved a bug before them."

—Software engineer intern in Menlo, GA

The perks are "amazing"

"Amazing perks — free food, snacks, transportation, housing (own bedroom and bathroom!) — as well as completely paid-for intern events on the weekends.

"Difficult to switch teams and try other options as an intern. ... My team excluding my manager also all worked remotely, which made getting help very hard."

—Software engineer intern in Menlo Park, Calif.

You're surrounded by talented people 

"Pros:

"1. It provides many activities. Weekends activities in beach, park, baseball game, zoos etc. Informative sessions include summerfest, research informative session for P.h.D.
2. Open work environment. The work atmosphere is very good. You get to work with many talented people and learn from their profession and efficiency. They have many support groups, each one of them can help you with some area which you have difficulty with.
3. Perks are very good. You got 3 free meals a day, and you got free stuff.

"Cons:

"I can not think of many disadvantages. For people who don't like work at high pace, it might not be good to work at Facebook."

— Software engineer Intern in Menlo Park, Calif.

Your work is affecting the lives of millions

"Lots of good things to say about Facebook: I've worked at other Bay Area tech companies, and Facebook culture and management is really up there. Extremely open culture helps cultivate functional relationships between managers and employees, unity in understanding what the end goal we're working towards is, and huge ownership and responsibility of owned projects.

"Product directly affects the lives of millions of people everyday, and the company makes sure employees are taken care of (especially interns!). Company has good prospects, and the vision statements and culture strongly manifest themselves in how the company is run, and how products are made.

"As with any other top tech company in the Bay, the sense of entitlement and superiority is high with some employees."

—Software engineering intern in Menlo Park, Calif.

It's intense

"Interns treated with just as much respect as FTEs (full-time employees), you have more fun events as an intern at FB than the FTEs do, company phone loaned to you for the summer, feel like you have a real sense of freedom and potential to change the world, felt like my voice would be heard and respected if I voiced diversity concerns.

"Feel super pressured to do your best (maybe it was just me?); intense to the point of potential burn out (good news is you can reach out to many resources ... if you feel this way! don't go it alone everyone! reach out! it helped me a lot)."

—Software engineering intern in Menlo Park, Calif.

You get to play around with internal Facebook tools

"You're surrounded by bright and talented people who are always willing to help you. Being at the company as a Facebook/Messenger user is a fun experience itself because you get to play around with the internal tools and hack with the product. Mentorship is good and the intern program is run very well.

"Might not have as much freedom in choosing a team. They have you rank your top 5 choices but I didn't end up getting any of them (and I've heard this happen for other interns). Still had a great experience though."

—Software engineer intern in Seattle, Wash.

The people are happy

"Facebook is an incredible place to work. You are constantly surrounded by some of the world's most intelligent and capable people, and Facebook's open culture allows you to really learn from your peers and their experiences.

"As an intern, I didn't get some random project that would be scrapped the second I left. It was real, meaningful work that has been on my team's roadmap for years. Between employees and even interns, there's an implicit level of trust and mutual respect between co-workers that I think would be difficult to find anywhere else. If you're here, you are probably GOOD at what you do. When a team of people truly trust each other and their ability to deliver, it makes for a strong team.

"The programs that the intern program managers organized were also amazing – my favorite were the Q & A's with members of senior management, including Mark, Sheryl, Brian Acton, Palmer Luckey, and others.

"One thing I really noticed about my short time at Facebook is that people are just plain happy. " -Software engineer intern in Menlo Park, Calif.

"One thing I really noticed about my short time at Facebook is that people are just plain happy. ... From little things like the security guard wishing me a happy 'Thursday eve' to deep one on one conversations with my manager ... .

"Facebook moves fast. Really, really fast. ... There are definitely extremely high expectations. It was sort of a sink-or-swim environment. That being said, people were open in acknowledging this, and my co-workers were always open to assisting me if I was struggling."

—Software engineer intern in Menlo Park, Calif.