Categories: Internships

Investing in student talent through internships

How often have you been scrolling LinkedIn or a job board for open positions only to find senior level positions and not much else? Where is the investment in early-in-career talent? After a few years’ hiatus, Mozilla is doubling down on our own investments in student workers.

Earlier this year, Mozilla rolled out our Canadian Co-Op program, hiring 10 backend, frontend, and full stack engineers from the University of Toronto and three backend and frontend engineers from the University of Waterloo. The program was such a resounding success that in 2024, we are more than tripling in size! We are now engaging 26 engineering students from the University of Toronto and University of Waterloo with intentions to hire an additional 11 interns in the United States.

With this ever-expanding investment in new talent, our Early Career Program Manager, Mitali Baxi, along with several managers, engineers, and student workers, attended our first career fair at the University of Toronto last month.

From Left: Mike Conley, Dylan O’Toole, Ayanaa Rahman, Harshit Sohaney, Mitali Baxi, Amir Habibi, Nipun Shukla, and Daniel Nguyen

“Students bring a new perspective to the projects we work on, and help drive innovation… they bring a level of passion and excitement to the team,” said Daniel Nguyen, an engineering manager on the Firefox Credentials team. That buzz of passion and excitement was a key part of what made this UofT career fair so engaging and successful for Mozilla.

Our team spoke with students who had contributed to our open source code, actively use Firefox, and are deeply invested in the work we are doing at Mozilla. Several of our backend software engineering interns, Ayanaa Rahman and Nipun Shukla, spoke to us about the rewarding experience of talking to prospective early-in-career talent about Mozilla’s core values, our principles, and their own reflections on their personal experiences interning at Mozilla.

Ayanaa Rahman started her career journey with Mozilla in May of 2023. “My time at Mozilla has been incredibly enriching on both personal and professional fronts,” she said. “Immersing myself in the software development lifecycle has not only given me a sense of significant contribution but also deepened my understanding through hands-on work with real bugs and projects.”

It’s not just the students that benefit from real-life experience either. Amir Habibi, an Engineering Manager on the Desktop Integrations team, says that early-in-career talent “helps move projects forward and brings fresh eyes.”

Nipun Shukla shared his perspective on what our student talent can expect with Mozilla: “The things I have to do are definitely difficult but I feel extremely supported by my team and able to freely reach out and get some of the institutional knowledge that exists at a company like Mozilla.”

Mike Conley, a Principal Engineer on the Firefox Desktop team, provides even more insight into the scope and project work. “Student workers have this wonderful tendency to not realize how difficult what they’re tackling is — and then they just dive in and do it!”

Just as our students dive in, Mitali Baxi, the early career aprogram manager leading our global student worker programs, has already hired 12 students into the 26 available positions in the month between attending the career fair at Toronto and the time of posting. This is due to a great process that Mitali, in partnership with hiring teams, has created where we showcase opportunities that students want to be a part of.

Our biggest goal for the hiring process is to make it inclusive, enjoyable, and not too overwhelming or time-consuming for our applicants and hiring teams alike. We’ve built the process with ample input, support, and investment from Amir Habibi and another Engineering Manager, Neha Kochar. Both have provided technical expertise and best-in-industry hiring practices.

It’s not just the investment from Amir and Neha that has elevated and expanded our student work and intern programs. Our entire executive team down to direct line managers, mentors, and buddies on the teams all have a deep desire to bring in talent that can explore the entire spectrum of expertise from the most senior to those only starting out in their career journeys.

After all, the next generation will be using technology and the internet even more than the generations before them, and so they absolutely need to be in the room where it’s being built and Mozilla intends to invite them in. We will continue to invest in early-in-career talent to help shape our future and ensure that all of our products, programs and initiatives promote a safe, open, accessible internet for all.

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Learn more about career opportunities at Mozilla Careers.