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INTERN DEVELOPMENT: HIGH-LEVEL REPORTING
In June of 2021, a parent organization's Human Resources Department sought to develop a more robust Early Talent Development Program that included formal training sessions.
Through interviews with stakeholders (HR specialists, former interns, managers, and Organizational Leaders) and review of previous recorded presentations, I determined a gap area for intern development was high-level reporting. Interns had had little opportunity to report to senior leaders and struggled to demonstrate the business impact of their roles throughout their internships.
As I was outlining the objectives for the course, I considered the complexity of high-level reporting. This type of presentation is a both a science and an art, and in order to approach both angles of that concept, I designed this training to be delivered synchronously yet virtually (to accommodate interns at all of the organization's operating companies) over 2 one-hour sessions throughout the intern summer. The first session would set the table following task-based activities, and the second session would provide the opportunity for the interns to both present and provide peer feedback.
Activity: Poor Example
Activity: Revised Example
Because high-level stakeholders (HR, Managers, and Leadership) were already on board, I focused change management activities on the audience - the interns. Interns are in a position where they have given countless classroom presentations, so from their perspective, it would be easy for them to let this information go in one ear and out the other. I took time to develop the WHY and the WIIFM. From there, I was sure to weave awareness of these concepts into the communications that rolled out the training, throughout the training session, and in the participant feedback form.
What's In It for Me?
Once I had developed the course outline, built an interactive PowerPoint presentation, crafted digital peer-feedback forms, gathered useful resources, and created supplemental infographics, I rolled out communication to the stakeholders to ensure the training garnered the proper support. I facilitated both training sessions via Microsoft Teams.
Feedback from both interns and leaders has been very positive. Interns receive a leg up against peers competing in the job market by having high-level report-out training and experience. Additionally, they are more aptly able to connect their contributions to the organization's goals, helping the business to understand which problems have been improved, solved, or created as a result of the interns' work. This also benefits the organization by offering a more lucrative experience to interns as they search for opportunities. To determine impact, I am assessing leadership scoring and evaluations for interns who had the training and those who preceded the training, tracking the number of intern applications to the early talent program before and after the training was deployed, and tracking internal job placements for interns.
To sustain the progress, I set up a 30-day check in with the interns to review progress, worked with them to establish accountability partners, retrieved feedback from all stakeholders for continuous improvement, and added this training as standard work to the intern rollout every year.
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