Contentsquare talent spotlight: Salimata Sylla, Emerging Talent Acquisition Intern
- Q:Can you tell me about yourself?
- Q:How did you find this internship opportunity, and what was your experience throughout the recruitment process?
- Q:What made you choose the Contentsquare talent acquisition team?
- Q:How has your integration been at Contentsquare and what do you think about the overall work environment?
- Q:What is your role as an intern? Do you feel that you are valued and that you are doing something useful?
- Q:If you had to describe an event or project that you’ve learned the most from, what would it be and why?
- Q: Is there anything else you’ve learned in your Contentsquare talent acquisition internship that you feel has benefited you in your career?
- Q:What’s your goal for your future?
- Q: Do you have any recommendations for those looking for an internship or new position?
Meet Salimata Sylla, Emerging Talent Acquisition Intern at Contentsquare. Salimata joined Contentsquare in September 2022 for a 6-month internship. In this spotlight, we sat down for an in-depth interview with Salimata to discuss her experience as an intern at Contentsquare thus far. Salimata shares information about Contentsquare, her onboarding and integration into the company and her unique internship experience, and provides tips for internship seekers.
Q:Can you tell me about yourself?
Salimata: I’m a student, an intern and an entrepreneur based in Paris, France. I’ve worked in healthcare and retail, and I also help women start their own businesses. I’m not new to the workforce—but furthering my education and career. I’m currently getting a Masters’s degree in Applied Foreign Languages at the University of Rouen.
Q:How did you find this internship opportunity, and what was your experience throughout the recruitment process?
It’s quite strange, actually. I didn’t apply for this internship. I was contacted on LinkedIn by a Talent Sourcer at Contentsquare. At the time, I was a DEI intern at a large retailer looking for my second internship opportunity to validate my Masters’s degree. This message stood out to me in a flood of disinteresting recruiting messages on LinkedIn. It seemed too good to be true, so I had to explore it further!
I took the phone call with the Talent Sourcer, who introduced Contentsquare and the opportunity. It was not too good to be true; it was as it was described. After the initial call, I moved forward in the recruitment process. I spoke with the Contentsquare talent acquisition manager and then met with the hiring manager. The recruitment process was simple and invigorating. The further I got, I said to myself, “I need this position.”
Q:What made you choose the Contentsquare talent acquisition team?
As mentioned earlier, I was looking for a new opportunity, but it also had to align with my needs. I wanted a long-term, paid internship, to work in an English-speaking environment, to be challenged by high-impact projects, and to work for a company that was on a mission for good.
At the time, I had no notion of tech jobs. Still, I was intrigued by Contentsquare’s mission to make the digital world more human by providing a tool for businesses to understand their customers’ online behaviors — customers like myself — and optimize their online presence to ensure a seamless and great experience online. I was also happy to hear that Contentsquare was a company with strong values. Like many students today, I also believe working for a company with core values and an impactful mission is essential. In addition to the company, the role attracted me; it is a unique opportunity to work as an intern building a program designed specifically for individuals like me. The company and position met my needs, so accepting their offer was a no-brainer.
Q:How has your integration been at Contentsquare and what do you think about the overall work environment?
As an intern, I’m always apprehensive about a new position and whether or not the environment and position are as it is delivered in the interview process. I am very pleased to say that Contentsquare presents itself correctly.
The integration was seamless and the onboarding process was smooth. My first week at Contentsquare started with company-wide onboarding and role-specific onboarding. I started alongside a group of global full-time employees and interns in different departments and we all participated in Rocket Days (our global onboarding program), IT, and HR Sessions together. I met with my globally-distributed team members and manager. My manager is in the United States, my mentor and colleague are in Rennes, France, and I collaborate with other stakeholders globally. I was also invited to lunch with the TA team members also based in Paris.
The overall work environment is great. I am a hybrid employee and I go into the Paris office 2-3 days a week so I get to work collaboratively in person and experience the office environment and also via zoom with my team. I’ve been brought in as a true part of the team with a voice versus an intern who just completes tasks assigned.
Q:What is your role as an intern? Do you feel that you are valued and that you are doing something useful?
In my position, I am currently assisting in building out the company’s internship and apprenticeship program from scratch. I’m working on impactful projects with my team on things such as facilitating our first in-house campus event with a business school in Paris, global internship compensation, and more. It is a very unique opportunity. I get to act as a voice for the participants and give my input to ensure the program meets its potential and serves the participants in the best way possible.
Q:If you had to describe an event or project that you’ve learned the most from, what would it be and why?
The internship compensation project. This was the first time I’d worked on a large-scale global project. I worked closely with my mentor, Antoine, Emerging Talent Acquisition Specialist and we collaborated with various stakeholders on the compensation and benefits, HR operations, and TA teams.
A project of this magnitude brings its own set of challenges and I learned how to navigate those. I learned the importance of research, strong interpersonal skills, communication, collaboration, organization, creating a compelling presentation, and how to present to leadership.
Q: Is there anything else you’ve learned in your Contentsquare talent acquisition internship that you feel has benefited you in your career?
As I mentioned, this isn’t my first professional experience. This is, however, my first experience in a tech startup company and my first experience in talent acquisition. The tech industry is different from others that I have worked in. I’ve learned a new way of working—working fast and delivering quality results by planning/preparation, being detailed and precise, and trusting my team. As an entrepreneur, I was hesitant about the corporate environment and this experience has given me a new perspective. It’s also reinforced the importance of strong company values and culture. My experience at Contentsquare is a building block to my future success and has undoubtedly contributed to my growth.
Q:What’s your goal for your future?
My goal and passion are to help women break into the business world and I would be honored to help women break into tech.
Q: Do you have any recommendations for those looking for an internship or new position?
I would recommend everyone explore opportunities presented to them, and be intentional with how you chose your position. Look for a position that provides value to YOU. If not, you will lose time. If you want to go back to school, do that. Don’t be afraid to start a journey to land in a better environment.
When you’re applying to new opportunities, be yourself, showcase the soft and hard skills and competencies and provide examples using the STAR technique when answering interview questions. Share how you will use these skills to help a company grow.