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10.13.2020 | News & Events

2020 Quar-internships: How We Adapted for a Virtual Internship Program

By: Maxar Internship Program Team

Read Time: 3 minutes

The Internship Program team had just completed the final details for the incoming 2020 cohort—our largest group to date with 154 students, recent grads and veterans. Then came the curveball of the global pandemic.

Lots of organizations talk about the importance of agility, adaptability and flexibility, yet many internships were cancelled as COVID-19 spread across the U.S. and companies prepared for indefinite remote working conditions. For Maxar, the 2020 Internship Program was a testament to our ability to act quickly and adapt to remote work.

Just a few days following the work-from-home posture announcements, Maxar managers were adjusting onboarding practices for virtual teams, IT was reconfiguring our systems to support multiple remote logins from personal devices, and HR was restructuring program activities to ensure strong engagement.

In the Parking lot of Maxar Headquarters in Westminster, ready-to-ship swag boxes to our Interns

Cultivating relationships remotely can be difficult, but our managers and teams rose to the challenge. Despite the virtual environment, many interns found a sense of community:

The best part of my internship experience was my assigned buddy, advising me whenever I had questions and being available for chats not necessarily related to work. He’s now like my brother.

I looked forward to Fridays when I’d have my weekly mentoring conversations with the women of the Women’s Network.”

I loved my work assignments and most of all, the Intern Knowledge Series as it showed me the different opportunities that exist.”

I loved the Inclusion and Diversity listening sessions by the leaders—truly shows the commitment Maxar has to improving inclusion and diversity both at work and in our communities.


Most interns were assigned mentors and buddies. Weekly speakers and the Intern Knowledge Series provided exposure to different leaders and areas of the business. These included sessions with Maxar CEO Dan Jablonsky; Tony Frazier, EVP of Global Field Operations; Megan Fitzgerald, SVP of Space Programs Delivery; and Lucy Condakchian, GM of Robotics, who started her journey with us in 2001 as an intern.

Leader Speaker Series featuring Tony Frazier, Executive Vice President Global Field Operations

As an essential business, we continued to put the mission first and relied on our interns to support many of our core business initiatives and customer deliverables. We know the value of real-world technical experience and training for developing essential career skills as well as for talent pipelines for the future of our industry.

Virtual Scavenger Hunt feature CORE Engineers and Interns.

Equally important, our interns and other team members got together for some fun, like a virtual speed-coworking event where interns engaged with early career engineers to learn about different disciplines in the company. We also hosted several socials, including a virtual scavenger hunt where participants came dressed in their dream vacation attire.

It was certainly an unusual program, and we’d like to extend a huge thank you to all our interns, managers and program participants for their flexibility and commitment. Given that 53% of last year’s interns are continuing as full-time or part-time team members and 17% are returning as interns next summer, our first virtual internship program clearly rocked.

We are already prepping for our 2021 cohort. Interested in a Maxar internship? Find out more.

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