Developing our Internship Program | Summer 2017
Our Summer Intern program recently wrapped up and we are excited how much it has improved – both in the way it is structured and organized. At Colite we are proud of the culture that we have developed and of the people within these walls who are committed to pursuing excellence.
The internship program is a 9-week program that is built with the intern in mind. Learning from the past we have implemented a strong system for allowing our interns to get a great experience while working with us.
During the Spring we had company representatives at colleges throughout the southeast looking for quality students who would make the Summer mutually beneficial for Colite and for themselves.
After multiple rounds of phone and in-person interviews we successfully selected a group that worked in various departments throughout the organization. They came from schools such as Clemson, South Carolina, and Ole Miss. Additionally, they were tasked with a team project that would allow them to work together to have a large impact on the company.
We had an employee, Katie Atkinson, who served as the “intern manager” for the summer. She acted as a resource for any questions that they may have leading up to and during their internship. Her background in project management and process improvement really helped our interns stay on track and get a strong understanding of the task at hand. We found that it’s important to have an employee dedicated to this so the interns have additional resources to assist throughout the summer.
It is important for everyone to be on the same page. There were orientations not only for the students, but also for their managers. This allowed everybody to understand their respective responsibilities and role definitions. Management was able to prepare for the projects and responsibilities they were going to give to their interns. As the Summer progressed, it was clear the impact that these orientations had on the success of the program.
It’s really important that the interns feel that their work is relevant and that it will be used in the actual business. We hired the interns based on their majors and this allowed them to do work that is related to what they are learning in school. This gave us confidence to assign them with LIVE projects that were applicable to what we are currently doing in our business.
Also, they were given two hours daily to meet together and discuss the final group project. Having a large project to work on really allowed us to encourage team work and involvement in more ways than their daily tasks.
The interns were tasked with figuring out how to effectively tell a story of how Colite makes our customer’s signage program work. During this time, they had to interview employees from different departments in the organization. They were tasked with simplifying the processes and getting a high level view to effectively communicate this using short videos.
We were extremely impressed with how this project turned out and you can view it too.
THE NEXT STEPS
The final week consisted of a program designed to give the interns solid advice as they prepare to enter the workforce. We were able to sit down with them and point out flaws and mistakes of other people’s resumes and linkedin profiles. Also, we held a session on how to leverage linkedin for Job Search Training. This dealt with giving solid recommendation on how to strategically use LinkedIn to better establish their network as they progress through their last year of college.
Summer internships are valuable for not only the interns, but also for the businesses they are working for. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship that enables a business to look at themselves through different lenses. We really enjoyed the group this past summer and were extremely pleased with the outcome. Preparation, organization and structure were some of the key reasons why we had a successful outcome.
We are always looking for dynamic students who want to learn about business and help us continue to develop into one of the premier signage companies in the world.
If interested in learning about our internship opportunities, please submit your resume at http://colite.com/job/internship-opportunities/