Driving Future Business Success through Interns Exposure to Your C-Suite Leaders

“Always have your elevator speech ready because you never know who’s going to get in there with you!”

  • Be ready, be prepared and be confident to share “you” information

One important lesson my college recruiting team would always preach to our interns beginning on Day 1 was to be prepared to meet company leaders AND have something to share. This event happened all the time! “I saw the CEO in the elevator and he/she actually talked to me!!”

When we all worked in offices together, during the pre-COVID days, you really never knew who you were going to meet face-to-face on an elevator or in the hallway. And, it was my team’s job to make sure our interns were sufficiently prepared to have a quick chat, make an introduction, and share confidently with any member of the senior leadership team. Those random encounters are wonderful opportunities for development and connections.

In today’s world of virtual internships, those coincidental exposures with senior leaders won’t happen. Unless, of course, you strategically engineer it!  Why should you take the time to do that especially today when business leaders are faced with pressures beyond anything we’ve ever experienced?

Think about it this way, would you want to work for a company where you had no exposure to the senior leadership and you had no idea, other than what you see in Yahoo! Finance, Apple News, LinkedIn, or other news media about the personality of the people running the business? Of course not!

Interns want, even crave, top-leadership exposure. They want:

  • To understand your company’s personality and most of that comes from your leaders
  • To be known and recognized by senior leaders

Furthermore, it is highly beneficial for senior leaders to hear the intern’s points of view on business topics. Hey, they are smart and talented future gurus, right? That’s why you hired them! And their minds are fresh with lots of ideas and contributions.

What is missing? Have you thought about the linkage of your interns to your business success?  

In a short amount of time, potentially even before we see a COVID vaccine, those interns will be our nation’s incoming workforce — if not with your company, somewhere else. Either way, they will be in positions to actually be doing business, making recommendations, purchasing products, and completing project. If they feel connected with your company where they interned, they will most likely feel good about doing future business with you. If they feel positive about your company’s leadership, one must believe that they will feel positive about recommending your company to their leadership, and their friends, and their families, and……you get the picture.

Former interns remember the experiences of personally chatting with a member from the C-suite. Those are not forgotten moments in time.  Those encounters are always in the top five, even top three best moments of their entire summer experience. Don’t let the Pandemic take that away from your interns. Give them the gift of exposure. Make it happen! And, most importantly, help drive your future success through the connections and contributions of your interns.

Written by Anne Voller, CEO AV Hire Power