Competition for hiring the limited number of young professionals on Long Island is fierce, especially in the fields of engineering, architecture, and science. At the same time, the academic experience of engineering and architecture rarely emulates what students can expect in the real-world. Students need relevant work opportunities to validate their career plans while keeping them engaged in their degree programs.
Over 30 years ago, H2M architects + engineers (H2M) established a paid Internship Program that responds to all sides of this challenge. This internship program is a training investment in students that the firm hopes to translate into being able to offer them full-time careers when they graduate and help shape their future.
With so many senior employees nearing retirement age, mid-career employees are starting to transition to management roles to leverage their years of experience. With these issues in mind, entry-level employees are needed to fulfill the labor and talent pool. Rather than to sit back and complain that the potential labor pool does not meet the firm’s needs, H2M’s internship program proactively takes the bull by the horns. For students and graduates to have meaningful work experiences to add to their resumes, H2M recognizes that as a firm, they must be willing to provide them these opportunities. H2M designed the Internship Program in part to fulfill this purpose.
H2M’s program provides 10-week paid summer internships and a strong commitment to professional development. Students are offered the opportunity to grow their skills and confidence via mentoring and hands-on work experience with project teams. Many of the summer interns are given the opportunity to become full time employees after graduation. In fact, H2M President and CEO, Rich Humann, started his career as an intern with the firm.
This summer, H2M employs 56 interns in total throughout their seven regional offices. This year’s program includes several milestones:
- First-day orientation: Held by HR and features presentations from Marketing, Accounting and IT, as well as lunch with H2M’s President and CEO, Rich Humann
- Resume/Interviewing Workshop: The interns learn how to improve their resume/cover letter and sharpen their interviewing skills
- Roundtable discussion: Panel of H2M employees discuss the transition from intern/student to a full-time employee. The interns have the opportunity to prepare and ask questions to panelists
- Internship Mixer: Networking lunch with other interns in program, and team building activities
- End-of-Summer Presentations: Each intern has the opportunity to give a short presentation to their peers and supervisors on their summer work experience at H2M
Strong internships have an impact on both students and companies. At H2M, the goal of the internship program is to provide a valuable experience to student interns and in addition gain the competitive advantage of mentoring and working with rising stars that can have the potential to become top talent at the firm.