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Washington State University
Dividend - Fall 2021 Features

5G and Gen Z:
Why Cougs are Perfect for T‑Mobile Internships

By Sue McMurray • Photo courtesy of T-Mobile

Tampa Bay Buccaneers player Rob Gronkowski may have gotten teammate Tom Brady’s “goat” in T-Mobile’s 2021 Super Bowl commercial, but the 5G network company doesn’t kid around when it comes to helping future business professionals prepare for the workforce. T-Mobile offers between 400–500 internships each year and actively recruits at WSU.

The company’s engagement with the Carson College began in 2018 during the CougsFirst! panel and trek event in Seattle. T-Mobile panelists offered Carson students career advice and hosted them for a tour of T-Mobile’s headquarters in Bellevue, Washington.

Since COVID-19 made in-person events impossible, T-Mobile continues to be a frequent player in the Carson College Career Series, a professional development program that gives students access to career advice from industry professionals.

In February, T-Mobile hosted a panel on internships. Offering advice were T-Mobile employees who are also WSU alumni: Dale Bennett (’94 Accounting, Finance), Mary Gerber (’18 Comm.), and Corey Wiseman (’07 Psych.).

“I loved my Coug experience and will always celebrate WSU DNA. I’m just passionate about hiring Cougs,” says Wiseman, T-Mobile university recruiter.

T-Mobile hired 23 WSU interns in 2020. Currently, there are around 2,000 Cougs on staff across the company.

“With Cougs, there is an automatic connection and sense of comfort,” says Gerber, T-Mobile senior PR specialist. “Every Coug we hire is a good culture fit for T-Mobile, both in personality and corporate life.”

“Cougs and their great attitudes make our program stronger,” says Bennett, T-Mobile recruiting manager.

More Than Your Average Internship

A former intern herself, Gerber had a great experience on a PR team focusing on carrier movement. “As a college junior, I was doing actual work creating ideas for PR and rate plans.” After graduating, she was hired full-time and now drives national sponsorship portfolios including Super Bowl ads, concerts, music festivals, and other events.

Opportunities are plentiful, and hands-on experience is the norm. Interns are seen as employees from day one with ownership and leadership responsibilities. They also spend time with senior leadership and work with a mentor throughout their program. The company also plans fun engagement activities each week for the interns and continues to do so virtually.

What Recruiters Look For

The best way to prepare for internship interviews is by using the Carson Center’s career services resources and practicing mock interviews, says panel moderator Sean Lynott, T-Mobile senior campus recruiter.

Other panelists suggested students have several examples of problem solving and technical skills, collaboration, teamwork, and successful leadership to share that can be customized to answer any question.

“We look for outgoing students who are willing to contribute, test themselves, and ask for help if needed,” says Bennett. “Club leadership, technical skills such as
JavaScript and SQL, and the ability to understand basic software development cycles and programming language will make you stand out.”

T-Mobile hires about 70 percent of its interns. Companies interested in engaging in the Carson College Career Series may contact Sophia Gaither, associate director for employer connections and career outcomes.