Tags: corporate culture, education, fitting in at internship, intern, internship, student networking
by the Intern Coach
A. Corporate cultures can be confusing—even for long-term company employees, much less new interns. These shared values, standards, and behaviors reflect the leadership style and ultimately the success of a business. To help your interns understand and “fit in” to the corporate culture, suggest that they research the following elements in their individual companies:
- Values: Prospective interns can read up on the company history to understand the initial values and goals. Annual reports are also an excellent source of information on the company’s achievements, problems or changing values. Other documents that illustrate a company’s value system are the corporate mission statement and slogan, such as Pfizer’s “Working together for a healthier world.” Google and other search engines reveal information about the corporate leaders, reflecting the company values.
- Standards: Is the company a corporate citizen, sponsoring community events, including educational initiatives or fundraising? What kinds of events does it hold for employees? Is the holiday party a dinner at a fine dining restaurant or is it a buffet in the company lunchroom? Does the company award employees for reaching goals? Interns can find out this information from company newsletters or by asking employees. If interns listen to the lunchroom chatter and ask questions, they’ll hear lots of stories that will identify company standards.
- Behaviors: Behaviors, ranging from dress to language, can change from department to department. The executives may exhibit one behavior in the boardroom, but the employees may practice other behaviors, depending on department. Age also makes a difference in behavior. Social media may be more accepted in some departments.
- Different Cultures: Is it a bureaucratic culture, often found in government, banks, universities, hospitals, and insurance agencies? If so, the intern will probably work with forms, formal reports, and policy statements. Performance may be judged by adherence to compliance and procedures. Or is the company a work hard/play hard organization, usually true of startups, with short-term deadlines? If so, the student should have high energy and a can-do attitude. Some companies, such as Apple, believe in management by objective and offer stock options, innovative work rules, and profit-sharing. Teamwork drives that type of culture.
- Interns may want to share with each other their observations on corporate cultures in their individual companies, helping each other gain new understanding.
Tags: "Leave no child behind", "Race to the top", college, education, getting an internship, intern, internship opportunities, internships, President Obama
by Dr. Rudy Crew USC, Advisor to internships.com
For the last decade, this country has been trying to “Leave No Child Behind.” One premise was that the institutions charged with the care of children and young adults would operate seamlessly, and collaboratively in building skills, attitudes and values that enable successful careers.
I got the point, however subliminal. As a former Chancellor of New York City Schools and later, Miami Dade County, I think the notion of leaving no child behind, had tremendous strategic potential. But then there’s life and tyranny of the day to day.
The K-12 system is only loosely connected to that of junior colleges and other post-secondary institutions. And from there, the way from college into the career or job of one’s choice is a function of luck, circumstance and as one young man once told me, a “hook up.” In truth, by contrast to other developed nations, we do a poor job of teaching the needed skills of occupational and civic literacy. Worse yet, the path from college to a career requires a “GPS,” which very few students actually have. Were it not for college career centers, savvy parents and big business, few students would make it into the job market at all, and even fewer from poor communities.
It was once taken as an article of faith, that college exit meant job entry. The numbers tell a different tale. First, 7 million jobs have left this country since 2006. Employment numbers are slow going north, and for the age group of the average college student (18-24) unemployment is still double the national average. All this makes the case for a more explicit means by which students in this country get from college into a job—a National Internship program. This is an investment in college age youth by small and big businesses alike. It argues from the place where vision meets strategy– like that of other eras in our history when the marketplace was in turmoil. The GI bill after WWII, the Civil Rights Bill both came after decades of deferred dreams for education and access to jobs–good jobs.
So now education is going to “Race to the Top.” President Obama is right to suggest that we need to double time our pace if we intend to be competitive, globally. But again, is it a slogan for the campaign or is there a strategy behind it? Is there a real set of stairs from a community college in rural or urban America to a good job in the US economy? I’ll know it’s for real when the “race” is being run with incentives for small and medium businesses to take on interns in the workplace. It’ll be true when colleges and universities enlist their alumni associations to give an internship to the entire junior and senior class. It will be true when career center budgets swell because of volume of demand and America’s Mayors campaign for the youth vote by harnessing themselves to youth employment. And when the skills taught in American public schools are ratcheted up to bear some relationship to skills needed to join a college, or vocation—for all students.
So much to do; so little time to win this race. Your thoughts please; just no slogans.