Best Practices for Summer Internships: Part 2, Internship Best Practices from the Employer's Perspective
This is the first in a series of blogs on language industry internships. Read the other installments in this series:
- Best Practices for Summer Internship Employers: Part I, the Student Response
- Best Practices for Summer Internships: Part III, Partnering with the Career Services Office
Internship Best Practices from the Employer's Perspective
Building a highly competitive internship program is a cornerstone of many university recruiting strategies. Part two of this series is dedicated to the voice of the employer. Two of our recruiting partners, Stephan Lins, CEO of Medialocate, and Teresa Marshall, Director, Localization at Salesforce.com, share their thoughts below.
Q: What prompted your company to start an internship program?
Medialocate has a special connection to MIIS, not only because of our proximity to the school and that we recruit so many of our new hires there. Our MIIS roots are deep, since Medialocate (formerly Omega International) was founded by three former MIIS graduates back in the 1980's.
Salesforce.com: As an alumna of the Monterey Institute, I was lucky enough to participate in an internship after my first year at MIIS. It was an invaluable experience teaching me not only what to expect outside of our academic setting but also what I liked about my field and where to seek opportunities.
When I joined Salesforce.com, I saw that the value and opportunities interns bring a company were already well understood and embraced. I was able to take advantage of our established internship program and worked with the recruiting team and my management team to include interns in localization.
Q: What does your organization do to insure interns are receiving value for themselves and their careers?
Salesforce.com has a well-established internship program designed for interns to gain real-life work experience in a professional, collaborative environment, under the guidance of a mentor and the supervision of a manager. Localization interns are included in programs for the larger R&D organization. To ensure that both my team and the intern have a positive and productive experience, interns typically work on well-defined, discrete projects that end with a final presentation before they leave at the end of the internship.
Right from the outset Medialocate views every intern as a potential hire. While we cannot hire every intern every year, our aim has always been to prepare each of them for a career in localization, not in office administration.
All our internships are paid*. However, the true compensation our interns receive is the investment that Medialocate makes in training and growing future localization professionals. As such, all interns are fully immersed in the daily team-work, which includes team and company meetings. Each receives a structured training program initially, and quickly given the flexibility and responsibility to organize their school and work schedules!
We expose all interns to powerful project management and localization tools (TMS, CAT, TM) and they assist our project managers on a variety of tasks, from developing glossaries and style guides, learning TM leveraging and extraction tools, to coordinating our linguistic resources worldwide – it’s a very dynamic and real-world work environment.
Second year interns will even have the opportunity to lead their very own small projects from start to finish under the watchful eye of a senior project manager. This provides them valuable experience at working with clients, and helping to make real-time business decisions.
At the end of their experience, interns receive a performance evaluation that gives them a useful yardstick of where they currently are and where they need to be as future localization professionals.
Oh, yeah, there is one more initiation test all interns have to pass prior to becoming full-fledged team members: Finish the famous Super Grande Burrito at Dos Amigos Restaurant, while the entire team cheers on – it’s become an annual tradition.
Q3: Competition for talent is hot, how is your recruiting team able to stand out from the crowd?
Saleforce.com is the world’s number one CRM company and we are one largest and fastest growing companies in San Francisco. We also focus on career coaching for our interns and new grad hires, which is major benefit in helping to launch new careers.
Some of Medialocate’s staff teach localization classes at the Institute, so we have somewhat of an inside track into the most promising talent every year. The fact that we hire MIIS students as interns and as employees every year also ensures that there is a permanent connection between 1st and 2nd year, and graduating students, who network and share their experiences.
*Salesforce.com internships are also paid.
In Part III of this series, I will explore options for partnering with the Career Services Office to create the best internships possible.
Ted Bouras is the Career and Academic Advisor at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, with over 20 years of experience in student advising, career education, and administration. Fifteen of those years were spent in MBA career services and program management positions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Northern Arizona University and the University of New Mexico. Ted earned a Master's of Science degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1995 and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and Communications Studies from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.