By Stacy Leger
Talent Acquisition Project Manager
When we began to build our undergraduate internship program, we really wanted to think about the experience of the interns and what they would take away from their time with us versus just providing extra help this summer. The main goal for this program was to give the students an experience that would enable them to see how this is more than just a job, it is a career path that will shape futures and change lives!
We had an overwhelming number of students apply, and to make this work with students out of state, we decided to do video interviews. The video interviews were my favorite! Everyone opened up about their backgrounds and gave some personal reasons for wanting to join; something I think wouldn’t have come out in a one-to-one interview where they may have felt nervous.
We selected 24 applicants to intern with us for 10 weeks. These students came to us from 18 different colleges throughout seven states. Before they started, we sent them some online training to teach them about ABA and compliances with May privacy protection policies because we deal with a lot of personal information.
They spent their first day in an intern-specific orientation where we had some team-building activities with an intro video that had a slide for each student that provided some information about him/herself. Our interns were greeted with a welcome kit and a “look book” that introduced each intern and listed his/her schools, majors, and graduation information. Next, they had an intense week of safety care and first aid training, followed by more specific training related to their daily work with our students.
During the program, the interns have been able to discuss career paths and opportunities with some of our senior vice presidents and clinical team. They have also had a chance to work with different specialized employee groups such as our speech-language pathologists and occupational therapists.
We also included events that would allow our interns to engage with one another since they are in different classrooms. This summer we had breakfast with some of our executives including our Chief Financial Officer. We are also planning a networking game night and will close out the program with a three-hour resume workshop with our Talent Acquisition team to teach the interns how to market themselves and what recruiters are looking for on resumes.
May Institute’s intern program is about the hands-on training for our interns and helping them make career decisions, which they learned more about during our speaker series. Many interns came to us uncertain of future career goals, and working with our students has given them the opportunity to consider the possibilities that are available to them. Over 10 weeks, they have been exposed to special education, learning more about becoming Board Certified Behavior Analysts, and careers in occupational therapy and speech-language pathology.
This program was put together with the mindset of building pipelines to staff May Institute, and with the hopes of having our interns apply for full-time roles after graduation to become part of our aMAYzing team!