The Future of Tech is bright
This summer, we established our first-ever internship program for college and high school students interested in consulting, technology, marketing, and sales. Our goal was to create an inclusive and repeatable program that would benefit both our interns and our employee mentors.
We paired fourteen bright, curious interns with fourteen of our experts who mentored them in technical skills, professional development, and career opportunities. We coordinated resume workshops, mock interviews, and firm-wide presentations. But most importantly, our interns were encouraged to reach out to SingleStone Employees for a virtual coffee or informational meeting to meet our people and learn about our industry.
Despite this year’s monumental shift in workplace habits, we were blown away by what this talented group accomplished in just 10 weeks.
Why create an internship program now?
2021 has proved to be one of the most competitive talent markets we’ve seen in decades. Remote work has given employees an endless amount of choice and employers, like SingleStone, are being forced to think differently about how they attract and retain great talent. Enter “The Great Resignation” and it became alarmingly clear that we needed to think differently about our talent pipeline moving forward. This served as the catalyst for bringing our internship program to life.
To be fair, SingleStone has dabbled with intern programs in the past, but this was the first year we made a focused and concerted effort to build something that would be valuable today and support us in building for the future. Since we were orienting towards the future, we wanted to make sure our program advanced two other important strategic initiatives – diversifying our workforce and providing our team with more opportunities to lead and mentor.
Then we went to work. We asked our recruiters to partner with our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) team to establish relationships with local HCBU’s and community colleges to ensure we were hiring a diverse class of interns. We connected with Partnership for the Future and committed to becoming a new community partner for their organization. We solicited mentors from our team and provided them with tools and resources to adequately support and develop a summer intern. We began to lay the foundation for a new talent pipeline that will help us attract and grow the next generation of leaders for our firm.
Our technical internship team, led by George Hatzikotelis, took on a summer-long internal software project. They built a staffing tool to identify opportunities and prepare for projects by analyzing team skills and availability. This project was perfect for our interns interested in backend and frontend development, graphic design and UX, security, operations, data, programming, cloud, DevOps, delivery—and everyone played a part in its success.
We took a more dynamic approach with our sales and marketing interns, led by Eleanor Carey and Josh Pilot. They were able to wear many hats and explore all that encompasses sales and marketing. This was perfect for interns interested in branding, social media, content development, lead generation, campaigns, and discovering how we foster great client relationships. So, instead of one summer-long project, the interns jumped in and had a true business experience that helped hone in on their passions and interests.
So, what did our interns think?
What was your favorite part of the internship?
- “The people who work at SingleStone really made my internship experience special, having the opportunity to connect and learn from so many different people within the company was undoubtedly my favorite part.” Thomas Yager
- “My favorite part was working with graphics to post on social media. This experience helped guide me towards more design-based courses at school.” Cecilia White
What is one thing you learned while at SingleStone?
- “Research and confidence. Most of my work was research based, using my findings to come up with solutions to help a piece of the puzzle we were working on. I also learned how to be confident in myself and my abilities through the trust that was instilled in me.” Sarah Ibrahim
- “I learned so much about the process of creating a product, from the early brainstorming to the final implementation.” Allan Pedin
- “I learned a lot about different technologies and processes, from new software to new ways of thinking and working. It’s given me a lot of perspective on what type of career I want to pursue and where I want to continue to expand my learning.” Abby Franks
- “Your value and who you are matter, you don’t have to change yourself to blend in.” Quynh Nguyen
- “The value of putting humans before resources.” Rayeisha Mesquita
What is your biggest takeaway?
- “Take the initiative to learn. I had the chance to pursue a lot of different opportunities and I’m certainly glad I reached out and took advantage of them.” Thomas Yager
- “Stay curious and open-minded. By doing this I learned new skills, made new connections, and did things out of my comfort zone. SingleStone created a space where growth and learning are encouraged, and I really appreciated that.” Abby Franks
- “There’s no stupid question, super-smart people ask questions all the time, so don’t be afraid to ask when you don’t understand something.” Quynh Nguyen
- “If you have an idea, share it.” Ben Honig
- “Never be afraid to share your thoughts and ideas. I learned that my ideas are valued and considered. It was a confidence boost and something that I won’t forget.” Sarah Ibrahim
And what did we learn?
- “I was so fortunate to have worked with our amazing interns this summer. They learned and accomplished so much in a short period of time. Folks were spread out in different parts of the country and had different backgrounds. One thing that helped us early on was to form small groups and identify subject matter experts. This helped everyone stay organized and communicate effectively. The summer flew by and I’m so proud of all the work we were able to deliver.” George Hatzikotelis
Special thanks to our mentors
Of course, we wouldn’t be here without our gracious mentors.
Thank you—Ryan Shriver, Reggie Moore, Don Mills, Daniel Larner, Andrew McFadden, Carlos Lantigua, Ben Nelson, Kevin Tuskey, Victoria Griffin, George Hazikotelis, Josh Pilot, Eleanor Carey, Chris Belyea—for leading the charge and influencing the Future of Tech. And a special thanks to our recruiting team—Casey Jones, Lauren Farrell, Taylor Long, and Ben Nelson—for finding top-notch talent and planning an unforgettable summer.
I’m looking forward to welcoming our next internship class and witnessing all this program will accomplish. The Future of Tech is very bright.