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SailPoint’s Sail-U: The ultimate crash course for young professionals

It’s a Thursday afternoon, and crew members across SailPoint are shuffling in – virtually and at our Austin, Texas, headquarters – for an event three weeks in the making. The team is getting ready to watch a cohort of new SailPoint crew members deliver their “Project Innovation” pitches – the culmination of SailPoint’s Sail-U internship to new hire program. 

This year marks SailPoint’s third annual Sail-U program, an initiative launched to expand the pool of emerging talent in the tech industry. Since then, Sail-U has grown into one of SailPoint’s preeminent talent development programs. 

This immersive, in-person onboarding session bridges the gap for new graduates by providing training around what we do and how we work. Over three weeks, participants learn the ropes of their roles and get fluent in SailPoint’s culture, which includes opportunities to give back to the community–something our team is endlessly passionate about. Sail-U helps new crew build strong networks and sets them up for success as they embark on their career. For those of us who might be a little (*ahem*) further into our careers, it’s the kind of crash course that would’ve been a huge help on a first job.  

Director of Crew Member Success Christine Gilberto, stands at the podium, “Welcome to Project Innovation, everyone.” The event itself is a hackathon-style exercise that sees Sail-U participants put their learnings from the past three weeks to the test. They’re tasked with creating an innovative solution to a real-world problem – not just an issue related to identity governance.  

Going into the project, contestants were encouraged to be as creative as they wanted. Each team was mentored by SailPoint leaders, including Principal Architect, Hari Patel and Sr. Manager of Solutions Development, Adam Creaney. The projects would be evaluated based on the following criteria:  

  • Level of innovation: Does the project do something unique to improve a problem? 
  • Project presentation: How effectively do the contestants present their ideas and solutions? 
  • Realistic capability: Is the idea something that could feasibly be executed?   
  • Completeness: Did the teams adequately prepare and manage their time to bring their projects to life?  
  • Coolness: Does the project have a “wow” factor?  
  • Utilization of available applications and resources: Did the teams effectively use the resources available to them? 

“Sail-U is an amazing program,” Andrew Moore, SailPoint’s VP of Product Management and a judge for the Project Innovation competition, noted. “It represents how we recruit and foster a culture of innovation right from the get-go at SailPoint. Sail-U participants engage and learn from people across the entire business, use that knowledge to develop their innovations, and receive feedback from the most experienced leaders at SailPoint. As we evaluate Sail-U projects during the culminating Hackathon, we aim to foster that innovative spirit by encouraging the teams to explore their most revolutionary ideas while staying rooted in creating new market value.”  

  • The first group of presenters introduced their project, “MindSail,” – an AI-powered wellness app designed to nurture mindfulness in the workplace.  
  • The second group of contestants step up to the plate to present their project, “SummarAI,”– a meeting summarization tool that provides insights and action planning from meetings.  

At the end of each presentation, the judges ask some hard-hitting Shark Tank-style questions like how are you storing employee data? How do you incentivize usage? And participants deftly reply on the spot.  

Both projects demonstrate the impressive business acumen the Sail-U participants have developed in just a few short weeks.  

 It was a tight race, and the winning team came down to a one-point differential over all the scores. But the experience and knowledge both teams come away with is more valuable than any prize.   

The Sail-U participants are now full-time SailPoint employees and are already on their way to promising careers at SailPoint and beyond. Are you interested in joining a team unlike any other? Check out our careers page.