Jul 26, 2012 • By

Summer interns with purpose

They’re not in class over the summer, but that isn’t halting the learning process for many interns at General Mills.

As part of the company’s ongoing professional development mission, internships are vital to the recruitment process, while providing deserving candidates enriching, practical and hands-on career-building experiences.

“Our internship program is designed to help identify the next leaders of the organization,” says Sarah Beaty, director of university recruiting for General Mills. “And in order to do that, we make sure interns receive a comprehensive, full-on immersive experience with our teams, complete with a deep level of responsibilities and measurable program outcomes.”

An Intern’s Perspective

To get a sense of the internship experience at General Mills, we spent some time with Alissa Heinerscheid, a first year Wharton MBA student and marketing intern with the Yellow Box Cheerios team.

Alissa studied General Mills for years to learn about its brands, businesses and culture to make sure it was an ideal fit. That research and preparation paid off as she (and the Cheerios team) is off to a very rewarding experience, as you hear from Alissa in this video.

Finding a Fit and Making it Stick

Sarah and the college recruitment team say it’s critical to find the right fit, for the company and the intern, to make it a productive and meaningful experience. She points to four key steps for a great internship match:

1. Know Yourself

•Reflect on the kind of work you enjoy and where you excel. Analytics? Leadership? Coaching? Creativity? Technical?

•Consider the type of environment where you thrive. Working with teams? Working autonomously? Structure? Ambiguity?

2. Find the Match

•Research companies and positions that match both the kind of work you enjoy and the optimal environment.

•Build your short-list of best fit companies.

3. Align Your Strengths

•Determine how your strengths best fit the position in the companies on your list.

•Develop examples of how you have demonstrated the skills and qualities important to the position.

4. Shine

•Having done your homework and aligned your strengths, have confidence and enthusiasm that you are a strong fit for the role.

•Enjoy yourself. At your best, your positive energy combined with strong knowledge will lead to a positive experience for you and the people you meet.

The General Mills recruitment team can be spotted at colleges and universities, hiring conferences and career fairs around the country, searching for the next wave of talent.

To learn more about internship and career opportunities, visit the Careers tab on GeneralMills.com, the General Mills Careers Facebook page, and interact with the team on Twitter and LinkedIn.