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  • Asurion Adding Additional Training, Networking Opportunities for Virtual Interns

    May 19, 2020 | By NACE Staff

    A virtual intern with Asurion.

    TAGS: best practices, internships, operations, nace insights, coronavirus

    Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals

    Although Asurion's internship program has fully flipped to virtual due to COVID-19, the company is keeping its 12-week, full-pay internship program and offering additional learning opportunities and intentional networking for its interns every week.

    “One of our core values is that we act with integrity,” says Kellye O’Connor, Asurion’s university relations manager, who notes that the company will be onboarding 40 interns this summer and did not rescind any offers to incoming interns or previous full-time conversions.

    “When we make a commitment, we keep it, and we made a commitment to the interns this year.”

    There are several ways that Asurion is bolstering training and networking for its interns in the virtual workplace.

    “We did a design sprint with several of our intern leaders and interns who we converted to full-time positions, and we identified two key areas of opportunity with going virtual,” O’Connor says.

    “Based on this feedback, we want our interns to understand how engaging and immersive our culture is, and provide training not only for our interns, but for our intern leaders as well on how to manage virtually.”

    The programming will start with a “thorough, but fun” two-day virtual onboarding, O’Connor says.  

    “In a normal year, we would have a three-day onboarding with programming and fun activities, such as laser tag and baseball games,” O’Connor says.

    “We can’t do that this year, but we are making it a fun and productive experience. We will have an overview of our business, culture, internship program, and expectations. The fun part of it ties into two areas: our theme for the summer and our business case project.”

    For the business case project, the interns will be divided into five teams. They will work cross-functionally and will be guided on their business case by an Asurion leader. Teams will meet between two and four hours per week and develop a go-to-market service or product they think Asurion should offer. At the end of the summer, the teams will present their work to Asurion’s senior leaders. The theme for Asurion’s internship program this summer—“Building Your Own Brand”—ties in as the teams work together to develop a team name, slogan, and operational structure.

    There are other ways for interns to connect to Asurion and each other.

    “Each intern will not only have their direct leader for guidance, but also a dedicated team mentor, an employee resource group buddy based on their interests, and an “intern2intern” buddy to help build an intern community,” O’Connor notes.

    Asurion is offering intentional networking opportunities that will allow interns to meet weekly with Asurion employees of all levels up to senior vice president. In addition, Asurion will offer its interns:

    • A weekly “One-Hour Wonder Series” that will allow its chief operating officer, supply chain senior vice president, and diversity and inclusion vice president to speak on their areas.
    • Training sessions that cover personal branding, project management, and design thinking.
    • Weekly one-on-one sessions with its interns and intern leaders to ensure all is well and interns are on track for conversion to full time.
    • Open office hours each week for intern roundtables. During the second half of each weekly roundtable, one of Asurion’s 10 employee resource groups will present on a topic relevant to corporate life and learning.
    • A virtual supply chain tour of its Technology & Logistics Center.

    “Every intern has a detailed project outline that is tailored to their expectations and goals for the summer,” O’Connor explains.

    “Depending upon the COVID environment, we hope to have all interns in Nashville their final week, and we will also have a graduation ceremony. It is very important for Asurion to offer our internship program—no matter the circumstances that may impact our business—because the company greatly values early career talent and the diversity of thought that the current generation brings to our company.”