Our internships make a difference
The idea that an intern does the grunt work, the tasks that aren’t critical to the day-to-day work at an office, is a far cry from what’s in place at General Mills.
Our interns – including those that just finished their internships at our U.S. locations – are given opportunities to lead projects and even teams of their full-time colleagues.
We focused on our internship programs in the latest episode of the “A Taste of General Mills” podcast.
Listen (32 min)
On August 10, the latest group of undergraduate and graduate interns in the U.S., including at company headquarters in Minnesota, completed the first 10-week program with the same start and end dates, and same orientation period.
Kaila Epps and Sean Young were among the group in the U.S.
Epps, from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, spent time this summer on Human Resources projects related to Supply Chain, at our headquarters.
“The internship gives us a sneak peek of what it’s like to work here, says Epps. “I was able to see how a few things from my previous courses connected to what the company’s strategies are. And there’s a few aspects I haven’t touched on yet that I know will be important to go into once I’m in back in school taking those courses.”
Young, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, spent his summer in our Chanhassen, Minnesota, plant. It was his second internship with us, after interning at our Belvedere, Illinois, plant last year.
“I feel like I was challenged in the sense that even though I’m an intern, I’m definitely going to be given as much as I possibly can handle,” Young says. “You always try to reach out for more and always try to exceed expectations.”
We also have interns currently at various stages of their internships in several locations outside North America, which often can last several months.
Léa Saint-Jevin, from Université Paris Dauphine, is interning in our Nyon, Switzerland office. She’s working with our Betty Crocker brand team.
“I’ve already learned a lot, especially since I feel like I have a real role,” says Saint-Jevin. “I really feel like I’m valued and helping produce products that people love.”
Daniel Gustavsson from HEC Lausanne, also is at our Nyon office. He just completed his six-month internship, working with the Häagen-Dazs team. His internship led to a full-time offer – which he accepted – to work on the Old El Paso brand.
“That’s an amazing feeling. I’ve been studying for a long time to get a job like this,” Gustavsson says. “It was a satisfaction that there was a match, that you felt, ‘Okay, I’m appreciated here and I appreciate being here’ and it was confirmation of that, which felt great.”
All the interns I spoke to about their experiences are featured in the podcast mentioned above, including two more who work in France and the UK. In the episode, the interns also give some advice about making the most of any internship.
Our internship program remains an important way for General Mills to identify and recruit top talent, and help the intern determine if the company is a good fit for them.
“We believe that an internship is a good foundation for somebody who will eventually become a full-time employee at General Mills,” says Scott Swayne, director of Talent Acquisition. He oversees our campus recruiting and hiring around the world.
“Our global internship programs are a really important part of our goal to deliver competitively superior talent that supports our business,” he adds.
Swayne says career paths and expectations of prospective interns have shifted in recent years, and many internships have moved from corporate to field-based assignments.
The key, he says, is to provide interns at all our locations with real-world work.
“Our internships may be the student’s first experience of applying the things that they’re learning in school,” Swayne says. “And so it gives them a chance to really test that out. They can ask, ‘Is this the career that I’m wanting to commit the next five or 10 years to?’ I think it also gives the intern an opportunity to go a little bit deeper on the company’s culture.”
Swayne says that it takes dedicated ambassadors for each intern, including a great Talent Acquisition team and HR and business partners, to achieve these results.
“What a privilege it is to have an opportunity to play a very, very small part in somebody’s bigger story,” says Swayne. “And that’s really what we get a chance to do. It’s one of the reasons why I’m not a big believer in selling General Mills to the students that we’re recruiting. I really feel like our role is to authentically communicate what our culture is, what our company history is, what our values are, and really help them to make the best decision for them.”
Visit GeneralMills.com to learn more about our internship and career opportunities.
SHOW NOTES – Episode 37: August 15, 2018
Link: Careers at General Mills
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