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Pinning Success for our incoming Pinterns

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Written by University Recruiting Team

At Pinterest, fostering a supportive and inclusive environment is important to us. This commitment is displayed in our internship program with initiatives like “Pin Prep” and the “New Grad Buddy” program to set incoming interns up for success before they embark on their Pinterest journey. 

Program overviews

New Grad Buddies: In the ever-evolving landscape of career development, mentorship is invaluable and highly prioritized within our internship program. One way Pinterest provides interns high quality individualized mentorship is through our New Grad Buddy Program. Designed to bridge the gap between academia and industry, this program pairs our soon-to-be interns with Pinterest employees who were either interns themselves or joined Pinterest as new grads. This mentorship provides professional guidance and support before interns begin their time at Pinterest. New Grad Buddies are meant to be a sounding board for questions, help interns gain a deeper understanding of the Pinterest culture and overall assist in building confidence in their skill sets. We intentionally select Buddies that are early on in their career so they can relate to the learning curve interns encounter, given they aren't far removed from the experience themselves. This program ultimately accelerates our interns’ ability to move into their role seamlessly as they transition into our company. 

Pin Prep: "Pin Prep'' focuses on developing fundamental skills crucial for thriving in a collaborative and innovative environment. Interns are placed into small, intimate groups where they get to participate in conversations, build relationships with fellow incoming interns and grow essential skills before they officially start their internship! These monthly sessions begin in the spring and focus on nontechnical attributes that include: networking, building relationships, managing commitments, virtual etiquette and more! Ultimately, the goal is to leave interns feeling confident and set up for success for day one at Pinterest.  

To shed light on the impact of these programs, we interviewed several future interns to learn more about their experience. Check out what they had to say:

Dieynaba Ba, Incoming SWE Intern, UT Dallas

“My experience so far has been really great, and everyone I've talked to has been very welcoming. I've really enjoyed the new grad buddy program as my buddy is someone who graduated from my current university, and I'm able to relate to them more as we've shared similar experiences. My first initial meeting with my buddy was on the same day as my meeting with my mentor and manager, and my buddy was able to give me great advice on how to prepare for it and provide sample questions to ask my manager. All of the support from the recruiting team as well as my new grad buddy made my journey here as a Pintern a lot more amazing.”

Colin Steidtmann, Incoming SWE Intern, UC Berkeley 

“After accepting the internship offer, I felt connected to the company for the rest of the school year. I have been invited to webinars on various topics every few weeks, ranging from how the team builds products to learning about Pinterest's Pinclusion Groups, or employee resource groups. My favorite session was about Pinterest's preparations for Coachella.  In the past few weeks, the onboarding process has ramped up, but it hasn't been too stressful. The recruiting team has given us a sample of how our first-week calendar might look, and I've met with my mentor and manager who are both very nice. I also connected with my new grad buddy, whom I'm excited to meet as she's an alumna from my school and works within the team I will be working with this summer.”

Laya Pullela, Incoming SWE Intern, UC Santa Barbara

“I attended all four of the preparation sessions that were set up by the recruitment team this spring. Hearing from the different speakers and getting to see everything come together really gave me the taste of working in Pinterest. I’ve gotten the vibe that pretty much everyone at Pinterest is just positive and nice. This is special.”

Tim Lui, Incoming Machine Learning Intern, UC Irvine

“The Pin Prep sessions have been very helpful for me to learn about the culture at Pinterest, especially the "Road to Day 1" session, which really helped me understand what to expect during my internship. The sessions were also great ways to meet and get to know other interns before my internship even starts! Since I am in a PhD program, this is my third internship in the US, and I have never experienced this level of engagement before my internship began. It really makes me feel welcome, valued by the company and part of the team.”

Ling Lan, Incoming Machine Learning Intern, Columbia University 

“Initially, I was a bit concerned that the fully virtual format might impede my ability to connect with colleagues and immerse myself in Pinterest's culture….participating in the Pin Prep sessions and panels transformed my outlook. These experiences have connected me with individuals across all Pinterest locations in the U.S., regardless of time zone differences. It feels as though I will already have a knowledgeable and supportive friend at Pinterest before even starting. I really appreciate how effectively Pinterest utilizes online tools to foster connections. Having access to a buddy who has navigated this landscape will undoubtedly smooth my transition and contribute to a successful internship.”

Nicole Han, Incoming SWE Intern, Western University

“I enjoyed how I got to learn more about the experience as a Pintern coming from someone who was part of the program.The advice my new grad gave was insightful and valuable for me to do well during my internship…I felt that my assigned buddy really enjoyed both his internship and his current role at Pinterest, which made me even more excited to start my internship. During our conversation, I learned that he works on a team that is similar to the team I will be working on. It was so helpful knowing someone who would be supporting me was familiar with the projects I will get to be working on this summer.” 


We believe that programs like these are not just about integration but about creating lasting connections and fostering a culture of continuous learning and support. We are so excited to welcome our future interns and look forward to the positive impact they will undoubtedly have on our organization this summer!

University Recruiting Team

University Recruiting

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