Many intern programs complement your standard project or group based work with formal intern events. These lunches, trainings, or activities contribute to your internship experience by immersing you in the company culture, developing you for the future, and connecting you with other interns, full-time employees, and leaders. The benefits of being involved in a formal intern program are copious. Dow’s finance internship program presents multiple intern events that have already positively impacted my experience at Dow.
About once a week, all of the Dow Finance interns get together for an “intern speaker series.” These speaker series bring in a different leader within the finance department to engage in a dialogue about their career, the company, and much more. These speaker series not only allow the interns to network with the leaders of the company but also to learn from their experience and knowledge. So far, we have had the opportunity to meet with the corporate controller, the corporate auditor, and a director of business finance. These speakers also allow the interns to understand what work goes on in the speaker’s group or department and what a career in that field may encompass. Out of all of the organized intern events, these speaker series or “lunches with leaders” have been the most impactful and beneficial for me.
Two weeks ago, the intern program had a training session on presentations and public speaking. This training was much different than the other intern program events because its focus was to develop our soft and technical skills. Formal training sessions show that the organization is dedicated to the development and progression of their interns. The training consisted of a discussion with an expert public speaking trainer and exercises to practice and improve our speaking skills. The training also gave the intern group more time to connect and build relationships with each other. At the end of the day, I was able to walk away with a set of public speaking tips, skills, and techniques that I will be able to use in my future roles.
The intern program culminates with a final presentation to peers and leaders of the company. These presentations allow each of the finance interns to explain the projects they worked on during the summer, the results of their projects, and what they learned during the summer to other interns, finance professionals, and leaders of the finance organization. This opportunity allows you to advertise yourself and your work to others in the company as well as to reflect on your experiences over the course of the summer.
Other formal events that have or will occur include a trip to tour Dow’s Texas operations in Freeport, Texas, a career fair of Dow Finance groups and departments, picnics, baseball games, and much more. The various events that take place inside and outside of work throughout the summer allow the interns to connect with each other, explore the city of Midland, and get a better understanding for the culture of the company and the city.
The point to take away from all of this is that every event, training, or dialogue is an opportunity to learn, develop, and network. Formal intern events are a great way to see the true culture of a company as well as to develop your skills. I would encourage you to consider the emphasis that an organization puts on developing its interns when you are going through recruiting. If the company sees you as the future of the organization, they will put the resources and opportunities forward for you to take advantage of!