Cleveland area educators and business community representatives attended the 2020 Cleveland Internship Summit on Thursday at Tri-C’s Corporate College East Campus. Attendees heard from Keynote Speaker Jeff LeBeau, who started as an intern in 2006 at WRL Advertising and is now the company's president.
In his presentation titled Create Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow, LeBeau said that an employer’s focus should be on building an internship that works for both parties—one that is flexible, educational, challenging, and that provides real work experience and a clear an end goal.
“It’s about exposing people to what they aren’t comfortable with and working to improve that,” he said.
New this year, the summit featured programing that includes a track targeting those with long-term, established programs and a track of topics for those who are seeking the foundational information of building or growing an internship program.
For newer internship programs, sessions included Intern Recruitment with panelists from CSU, Lincoln Electric and Union Home Mortgage, as well as Diversity & Inclusion in Internships with panelists from Ernst & Young and Tucker Ellis. For established internship programs, sessions included Innovation in Internships with panelists from FedEx Custom Critical, Sherwin Williams and Baldwin Wallace, as well as Bridging the Employability Gap with panelists from Oswald Company, Swagelok and Eaton.
The summit wrapped up with a plenary session presented by Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans titled Building a Talent Pipeline Through a Winternship. The company’s Winternship is a week-long immersion experience in Detroit, Michigan, for students looking to gain professional experience over their winter break. During the week, students engage with senior leaders, shadow hiring leaders, attend exclusive events and other opportunities. At the end of the week, students may receive an offer to join the company for a summer internship or full-time role after graduation. Summit attendees heard about the challenges faced with the Winternship program, how the company measures success and where they continue to see it grow.
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