Despite this, some have wondered if it’s really possible to offer the hands-on experience critical to certain career fields without having the interns on site. For example, how will engineering interns be able to apply and improve upon their physical skill sets? Will they get the opportunity to tinker with products? And will supply chain interns be able to truly understand the depth and complexity of a warehouse setting or product inspections without being there in person to witness operations? These are very valid questions.
While some project work may have to flex, managers have been innovative in curating work that their interns can successfully work on from home. For example, we are shifting engineering interns who would traditionally have lab-based jobs to more research-based project work. Additionally, some managers are shipping equipment, such as Zebra products, directly to the interns for them to work on at home. (That is how much trust and confidence we have in the skills of our interns!)
In other cases, managers are utilizing a Microsoft Team’s site to crowd source interns for certain projects. For example, if a marketing team member has an assignment that an intern can easily support, marketing intern managers are notified and interns who have the bandwidth to support the extra work are given the opportunity to collaborate on the project.
Don’t Worry…Our Interns Will Still Get Plenty of Opportunities to Socialize Too
Each week, our Early Careers team will conduct team-building events with the entire intern class to facilitate idea sharing and networking. These events will include breakout collaboration sessions, innovation challenges and project showcases. They also “gathered” together for group orientation yesterday and will take part in an Inclusion and Diversity presentation later this summer.
Zebra believes if you work hard, you also deserve to play hard, so there will be plenty of game nights, mocktail hours and other social networking events hosted via Zoom throughout the summer so that the interns can mix and mingle in a more “casual” setting. (As if it gets any more casual than working in athletic gear or pajamas from your cozy couch.)
At the end of the day, our goal is to ensure that our interns get to experience the key pillars of Zebra’s highly successful internship program whether huddled around their laptops in a conference room or their living rooms.
Stay tuned into Your Edge for updates throughout the summer from the interns themselves. We’ll ask them to share their thoughts on what it’s like to be part of the first Zebra virtual intern class and the #WFHtips that proved most beneficial to their telework experience.