Mack has harvested its biggest crop of interns yet!
Over the past four years, Mack’s summer college internship program has been steadily growing. Beginning with10 interns in 2011, this year’s program attracted twice that number from various fields of study, ranging from engineering, physics, and biology to economics, architecture and psychology.
What is it that keeps this program interesting for young scholars?
These interns don’t perform mundane activities that no one else wants to do. Instead, each student is assigned to a specific department and given an assignment to be completed by the end of the summer. Upon completion, the interns are required to make a presentation to their peers, as well as their intern sponsors and Mack senior management.
“The program is valuable to the interns because they leave Mack with something they can put on a resume that actually has some relevance to their field,” says Jeff Somple, president of Mack’s Northern Division. “When they talk with a potential employer or grad school, it resonates.”
Not only do the projects benefit the interns themselves, they are genuinely helpful to Mack as a company. “I always view the interns as the cavalry coming over the hill to provide some relief just when we need it most,” says Somple. “They bring in fresh ideas and inject a level of energy into the company at our fiscal year-end, when everyone is extremely busy. They complete projects that just can’t seem to make it to the top of others’ to-do lists because of other pressing issues.”
Intermittently throughout the season, this assignment is coupled with other tasks outside of the department in which interns are employed, allowing for cross-training opportunities. Additionally, Mack hosts weekly “Lunch ‘n’ Learns,” which include presentations from staff, visits to other Mack facilities, and professional skill-building sessions.
For many interns, this opportunity makes it possible to stay at home while working in a field relevant to their studies. While living at home may not seem like a deal-breaker, giving students the chance to see that there are, in fact, manufacturing and engineering jobs available in the greater Vermont area is extremely important to Mack.
“Our single greatest challenge to growth continues to be finding, attracting and keeping good technical talent. That’s not just at Mack. It’s a universal problem in manufacturing,” says Somple. “Our goal with the internship program is to take these bright, young people from all different parts of the area, from different families and different educational backgrounds, and expose them to the kinds of opportunities they can reap right in their own backyard. For the first time this year, we had more applicants than jobs. That tells us the program is working.”
Contact: Nancy Cefalo, Director of Human Resources
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