With an estimated 300,000 people interning each year in the United States, internships serve as an excellent way to gain hands-on experience in your chosen field and a pathway to establish professional networking connections. They also provide an opportunity for both the intern and the company to determine if the position will be a good fit in the long run. This is why it’s so important to encourage students to participate in internships and for businesses to offer them. Russell Rowland feels strongly about this and strives to provide our interns with the real world experiences and skills necessary for success in their future careers wherever they may be.
We utilize career fairs and our existing relationships in the industry to find the best intern candidates. We look for college juniors or seniors with previous engineering experience (engineering classes) and high school juniors and seniors with previous AutoCAD experience for the Structural Design Intern positions. It is also important to have extracurricular activities and prior volunteer or work experience since we want interns involved in the community and aligned with Russell Rowland’s values.
Our primary goal for our interns is to provide meaningful experience and career guidance. This may be their first office job, so we teach them how to interact professionally in an office environment. They also get a taste of what it’s like as a full-time engineer, including solving complex structural design problems and interacting with clients. We want to help our interns figure out what work environment or career is best for them.
For the Future
Although we hope to convert our interns into full-time employees, that doesn’t always happen. No matter what, however, we try our best to set them up for success and help guide them on their personal development. Along with networking and volunteering, where they can interact with professionals and form bonds in the industry, we also design individual-focused training plans for each intern.
Depending on their career path, we create a training plan based on their goals to provide them with the experience necessary to succeed. For example, if one intern is interested in business development, we design a plan oriented around business development skills. Should our interns go full-time, we expand this plan into a fully-realized employee training regime. We’ll also provide tuition assistance after employees have worked full-time at Russell Rowland for a year.
Importance of Internships
Internships show students what companies and career paths are for them. The vast knowledge they can gain can easily elevate them past their fellow job-seekers. For students looking to intern, get involved in school and start filling out a resume. Businesses, Russell Rowland included, will be impressed by the accumulated experience. Start there, and future success is one step closer.