Many of the best learning opportunities for young professionals occur outside of the classroom.
They happen when you’re actually sorting through the challenges of writing code, designing a product release on deadline and working with customers and coworkers and managers in real-time.
The best opportunities for young professionals to receive experiences like this is through internships. Along with checking all of the above boxes, internships provide a great network of resources that could very well lead to your next job, or one later down the road.
Just ask Austen Carey. He’s the director of talent programs at Amherst, a financial services and technology company that helps investors invest in U.S. real estate, and he’s seen first-hand where some of the company’s former interns have wound up.
“Our interns have been very successful in receiving full-time offers within the firm, continuing their careers through other internships within our organization or are simply more prepared for future opportunities at the conclusion of their internship,” Carey said.
Built In Austin caught up with Amherst to learn more about its internship program, and some of the cool, real-world projects past interns have gotten a chance to work on.
Tell us a little bit about the internship program at your company. What opportunities exist and what kind of experience can interns expect?
Our undergraduate and graduate internship program provides students the opportunity to apply theoretical and conceptual knowledge they have learned in school to real-world business initiatives and complex problems. Our interns are able to collaborate with internal teams on projects that not only serve a purpose but have an impact on the growth of the business. Interns at Amherst can expect to work alongside experienced professionals to foster learning, get hands-on experience through mentorship and coaching, as well as continually build their skills.
We have internship opportunities in many departments across the organization including real estate, finance, marketing, operations and investment management.
What are some of the coolest projects your interns have gotten to participate in?
Our teams start brainstorming summer intern project ideas from the moment students are committed to the program. In the midst of a global pandemic in the summer of 2020, we stayed committed to our 26 interns and had to be agile and shift from an in-person program to a virtual one with a very geographically dispersed cohort.
Through the use of communication tools such as Slack, a team of interns from tech and human resources collaborated and used an innovative approach to develop a Slack bot for our learning and growth Slack channel that integrates with our new HCM system, Workday. This Slack bot was implemented to give employees quick resolutions to basic HR and learning and growth questions. They had to develop the code, use cases, testing and present it to our CEO at the end of the summer program.
Our interns are able to collaborate with internal teams on projects that not only serve a purpose but have an impact on the growth of the business.”
How has your internship program helped your interns grow professionally and kickstart successful careers?
Our internship program is focused on providing students hands-on experience, professional development and training to prepare them for success in the business world. Each intern is paired with a resource for go-to information as well as senior leadership for career coaching and mentorship.
As an Amherst intern, you not only learn the “how” of your role but the “why” behind it through continuous education and training. Our interns have received full-time offers within the firm, continued their careers through other internships within our organization or are simply more prepared for future opportunities.