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Abigail Von Bank | July 16, 2020

If we’re writing a New Book of Work in 2020, as I think we are, we ought to spend time with digital natives who grew up with a direct connection to the whole world. Think about that. If you don’t remember a time without the internet, smartphones, social media, and technology as a routine part of everyday life, the lens through which you view WORK and how it’s DESIGNED is vastly different than digital immigrants who need to wrap our heads around Then v. Now.

We scooped up my niece, Abigail Von Bank, for a digital student internship this summer. This blog series is where she shares her experiences. – Jess

Hey, Abigail, welcome to Leapgen. You’re not our first intern, but you are definitely our first student intern. I have to say, we were pretty excited to provide a young person and digital native with her very first experience of business and the world of work. First, tell us about you.

Abigail: Well, I’m going into my senior year of high school and thinking about majoring in education, so the world of work and business is quite different from what I know. I enjoy psychology, chemistry, and sometimes even algebra. I am on my high school speech team and in a club called Philanthropy and Youth. I help teach Sunday school, confirmation, and volunteer at a nursing home.

Jess: We can learn a lot from each other in a year like 2020 when so much is changing about the way we all live, learn, and work. What are your first impressions working inside Leapgen?

Abigail: Since the world of work and business is new to me, Leapgen is also new to me. I didn’t really know what the company did or the influence they had on the world of work, so I did a little bit of research by digging through the website and developed an idea of what they do. Once I actually got in and started working, I was blown away. Leapgen is a little intimidating at first when you don’t know much about their world or what they do. While it was and still is a bit intimidating, the people are really welcoming and make sure that if I have any questions they’ll answer as best they can. There’s a lot more pieces than I had originally thought there was to all that they do. From the many different teams to the many different services they provide there’s so much going on. The world of work is very fast paced and to remain a leader in it you also need to be fast paced. Though I’m not used to the pace they run at, they try their best to make sure I’m not too far behind.

Jess: We advise companies around the globe on how to achieve digital transformation of their HR function and workforce experience – in other words, make it feel inside of work like it feels outside of work. You have parallel experience, you might say, when it comes to digital learning. What was your personal experience when lockdown forced us out of schools and online? Was your experience as good, better or worse?

Abigail: Online learning was difficult for everyone; teachers didn’t see it coming and students, while they may be surrounded by technology, also had to adapt. Teachers only had a couple of weeks to move all their plans and methods into a digital world. While they did already have some things online, like our grades or even notes in case people were gone, moving everything online was chaos. Things were a bit hectic at first, making sure students without access to the internet could get access and making sure our software didn’t crash from all the traffic. Surveys were going out asking the students how everything was going, was the technology setup okay, was it easy or difficult to understand, how should this work, and if we were okay. Eventually the tech worked out alright, but learning online is extremely different from in person interactions. For some students it was great, but for me, in person was so much better. Schools are environments for learning; homes and bedrooms are typically places where we do homework but we can also unwind and not be as stressed. Trying to learn and work in an environment associated with relaxing and sleeping isn’t easy.

Jess: Time for something fun, surprising or unexpected. Tell us one thing about WEEK ONE.

Abigail: I already got my first project, scoping out prospects and researching them. I’ve gotten to join in on my first company huddle and meet one-on-one with many people as well. Zoom was a bit touchy at first and Slack was completely new to me, but after getting everything synced up between my phone and computer I felt really professional. I did, however, still break out my written to-do list to keep track of everything. One thing that was still a habit from school was taking notes on everything. It cracked a few people up when they realized I was taking notes even if I didn’t really know exactly what they were saying. It was funny to me when they would notice that I was in a different part of my house for meetings when other parts of my house were being too loud.

Jess: Leapgen is so honored to learn and work with you, Abigail. We can’t wait for Week 2!



Abigail Von Bank is Leapgen’s first digital student intern. She’s entering her senior year of high school with plans to attend Minnesota State University Moorhead. She’s considering a major in education with interest in becoming a chemistry teacher, but she’s still trying to figure that out.  Abigail is on her school’s speech team and in a club called Philanthropy and Youth. Her top five strengths are empathy, communication, ideation, relator, and developer. She spends her summers volunteering at a nursing home and in a summer job as an assistant teacher for College for Kids at MSUM. She enjoys photography and painting, and she’s getting her first experience of business and the world of work with Leapgen.

Jess Von Bank is a 17-year industry veteran and impassioned evangelist of the modern employee experience. As both a former recruiting practitioner and an expert in bringing HCM vendor solutions to market, Jess looks to broaden executive mindset to better design and deliver a workforce experience that exceeds the expectations of talent and the needs of the business.

Jess is the Head of Marketing for Leapgen and a Global Community Organizer for NOW of Work, a global community for digital transformation of workforce experience. Jess is an active community emcee and ambassador for women’s and girls’ organizations in Minneapolis, where she raises her 3 daughters.

Leapgen is a global digital transformation company shaping the future of work. Highly respected as a visionary partner to organizations looking to design and deliver a digital workforce experience that will produce valued outcomes to the business, Leapgen helps enterprise leaders rethink how to better design and deliver workforce services and architect HR technology solutions that meet the expectations of workers and the needs of the business.

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