A new pilot program recently launched at C&A Industries has brought 20 college students into our fold to gain experience and learn the ins and outs of our business.
Skills for Success, C&A’s internship program, kicked off in May and will continue until Labor Day. While C&A has employed a handful of interns in recent years, this is the first year of a formal initiative that not only involves more students but is larger in scope with professional development and networking now part of the program. It’s overseen by Liz Hall, Executive Director of Training & Development and Bret Williams, Director of Human Resources.
Interns are working in various divisions and departments across C&A, including Aureus Nursing, Aureus Allied Health, Aureus Group, AurStaff, Celebrity Staff, Accounting, the Kim Foundation, and Aureus University. Roles and responsibilities are based on the employee’s area of interest and where there’s a need for some extra assistance.
One intern is learning about the sales process – recruiting and calling on references. Another is looking at HR as a career and shadowing one of our corporate recruiters while working with the Benefits & Insurance team two days a week. One is writing blog entries and covering a division’s front desk. Yet another student is supporting a sales team in a staffing assistant role.
During the summer our team of interns will participate in DISC and Strengths Finder training, along with other professional and personal development activities. All will give a presentation at the end of the internship cycle on what they’ve learned during their time with C&A and about the internship experience.
“These internships are a win-win for both C&A and for the students. Some of them are undecided about their next step after college,” said Ryan Royse of the Training & Development department, who coordinates the program. “We give them an avenue to see what they can do. They’re building their resumes and bringing fresh ideas to the table. It’s been very successful thus far and we’re looking ahead to how we can expand the program in the future.”
Skills for Success is one piece of a large scale effort citywide. The Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce has taken an active role in promoting internships throughout the Omaha business community through its program, Intern Omaha. They want to college students to remain in Omaha following graduation and what better way than to give them a taste of what their futures may be like once they step out into the business world.
Companies throughout the Omaha community are taking part in the Chamber’s initiative. Interns are currently employed with corporations and businesses of all sizes and industries. While each employer manages its own internship program, the Chamber is hosting numerous activities, tours and events for interns over the course of the summer. It’s a great way to bring the large group of interns together to network, share their experiences with each other, and get to know more of what Omaha has to offer them in the years ahead.
Most of C&A’s interns will return to school in August while some may extend and continue to work through the Fall. “Summer is an ideal time of course but we’re also looking ahead to what shape the program may take throughout the year,” said Ryan.
She says there may also be opportunities for interns to represent C&A at college career fairs and other events. “We hope to have them be ambassadors for us and show those who will soon be looking for jobs after college what C&A has to offer.”