My experience as an intern at FanDuel — from a now permanent employee

My experience as an intern at FanDuel — from a now permanent employee

Written by Erin Donnelly and Louis Kimanzi

With FanDuel UK applications open for 2023 summer internships, it seemed like the ideal time to speak with Louis Kimanzi, a former intern at FanDuel. After graduating with a degree in Applied Sports Science, Louis is now a permanent Product Owner at FanDuel.

What made you decide to apply for an internship at FanDuel specifically?

I knew I wanted to work in a space that had something to do with sports, given my degree. After getting a rejection from a Big 4 company on my birthday, I jumped on Google and typed ‘sports business jobs’ and came across FanDuel. I saw that the company had a sports-focused element and was Edinburgh based. After reading about the company, and seeing that there was the opportunity to get involved in a business-facing role, I applied!

Although Louis loves sports and that was one of the key things that appealed about FanDuel, we have several products across the gaming and betting industry in the US, and you don’t need to be interested in sports to apply!

What was your experience like during the internship and how did it differ from what you expected?

I didn’t expect to have anywhere near the level of responsibility I had during my internship. This was something I was vocal about asking for because I wanted to make the most out of my three months with FanDuel. I was really thrown into the deep end (in a good way) and from about my second week onwards, I was running ceremonies, stand-ups and refinements.

I was also only supposed to be working across one team, but when I started I ended up working across a couple of different teams, which kept my days full.

What was a typical day or week like during your internship?

It sounds like a stereotypical response but no two days were the same. There were regular meetings, like our daily stand-ups (a team call to find out what each person’s plans are for the day, or any obstacles they are facing) so I had those in my calendar, but the rest of the day would depend on what was happening. That meant I could be meeting with the design team, or working with developers, or researching upcoming products. There’s so much variety which means who you work with changes each day.

What did you feel like you learned during your internship?

I learnt a lot about how to work with people on a professional level. This is something that you don’t get exposure to until you are actually in a professional setting, and being able to explore this and learn this before graduating and finding a full-time role was vital.

It also helped me to learn how to work with different personalities and characters.

On a personal level, it allowed me to reaffirm my key personality traits and how they translate to a work environment. I gained confidence that my career aims were actually aligned to my skillset, and it was actually what I wanted to do.

What were the challenges you faced during the internship?

So for me, I think the challenge was slightly different. Because I was working across two different teams, I struggled with deciding what sort of team and focus I would want to have if I could come back to FanDuel as an employee after graduating.

I also had to learn (and am still learning) how to say no, especially when there is so much happening and you can get sucked in so easily. Again, because I was working across different teams, I had to learn how to prioritise and say no to certain meetings or calls because I needed to focus on something else.

You came from a non-technical background/degree — what was it like coming into a technical environment?

Scary, definitely scary! I was worried I would get caught out and that because I knew nothing about coding none of the projects would make sense.

Within a few days of starting I knew that wouldn’t be the case. Everyone I encountered really wanted me to be able to learn and get value from the experience. Plus when my manager started asking questions in a meeting about something they didn’t understand, I knew it was a very open and safe space to ask questions.

Now, as an employee with FanDuel, I am really passionate about making sure to encourage people to ask questions.

What about your internship experience made you want to come back and apply for a permanent role at FanDuel?

It’s a cliche, but the people. I worked with some incredible people who are now lifetime mentors, who even met-up with me post internship and really cared about my growth as a person.

I’m also really passionate about the brand. I watch a lot of US sports and you see FanDuel’s name everywhere. It’s also really cool to work for a brand that is a leader in its industry. The sports market is also projected to keep growing and to see where that is going is really exciting.

Was your internship a useful starting point for your career in general?

Yes, absolutely. Being in university was great, and teaches you lots of things, but nothing can ever prepare you for the workplace except the workplace. The internship was the length of a whole semester that allows you to work on the skills you need in a practical setting, but in a safe space as well.

Is there anything else you would like to let potential applicants know?

I did my internship during the pandemic, so it was fully virtual, and I would give anything to go back and have that experience but in our office as it’s an incredible place to work and we have lots of amenities like a rooftop terrace.

I would also say: don’t just think of this as an internship, but more as an experience.

Next steps?

If you would like to apply to our 2023 paid internship programme, please apply via our careers page

We hope to hold our internship programme from circa 20th June until 8th September.

My experience as an intern at FanDuel — from a now permanent employee was originally published in FanDuel Life on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.