summer internship tips

Internship Advice From Kraft, Bayer CropScience, Suncor, Barrick And P&G

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You’re a little over a month into your summer internship and you only have a few more to make a real impact – both on your career and your employer. What should you do?

We turned to five top employers to get their tips and advice about how you can make the most of your summer job or internship while there’s still time.

Below, you’ll find tips and advice from campus recruitment professionals from Suncor Energy, Kraft, Bayer CropScience, Barrick Gold and Procter & Gamble, as well as information about how each of these employers ensure that their own interns have the best summer job experience.
 

Procter & Gamble

—Darren MacDonaldTalent Supply Manager

Top 3 summer internship tips:

1. Do not miss the chance to learn about and engage with other functions throughout your internship. There are so many fantastic opportunities throughout P&G Canada, so learning about what other functions do is a great way to find out where you fit best.

2. Seek to understand—then be bold. Ask lots of questions, because this company is filled with brilliant, experienced professionals who want to help you learn and grow. Once you have taken the time to understand a problem, don’t be afraid to challenge the status quo.

3. Work hard, play hard. Internships should be challenging, but they should also be a lot of fun. Invest the time to get to know your fellow interns outside of work.

How does P&G ensure its interns have the best possible summer job experience?

P&G offers extensive training for interns to provide them with a solid foundation before beginning their projects. This lasts from two to three weeks, and includes numerous social events that allow interns to network and bond with one another, and to connect with those throughout the company. P&G’s I-Network (Intern Network), led by a group of full-time employees, reaches out to interns before their start date, and acts as a support network and fun-committee throughout the entire internship.

In addition to projects that focus on an intern’s particular function or team, each intern works on a FAST project—a project that is multi-functional in nature and deals with a real challenge that the organization needs help to solve. This FAST project gives P&G interns the chance to team up with other interns from across the organization to tackle an especially challenging issue that can drive meaningful change throughout P&G Canada.

Never to be understated, P&G Canada is a community of extremely talented and caring individuals who are always happy to help interns grow as professionals—the formal and informal coaching is possibly the most valuable aspect of our intern program.

Learn more about career opportunities with P&G.
 

Barrick Gold

—Dan PearsonCorporate Recruiter

Top 3 summer internship tips:

1. Define goals and objectives with your manager at the beginning of the summer work term. Ensure they are clear and achievable, and seek guidance and ask questions if clarity is required.

2. Take 5-10 minutes and create a “to do” list every morning. Cross deliverables off once completed. This will support and develop superior time management skills, and maintain an organized approach to your work week.

3. Continuous improvement, creativity and innovation will stand out. Don’t be afraid to jump out of your comfort zone with an idea or new approach. Who knows? It might be implemented!

How does Barrick ensure its interns have the best possible summer job experience?

Barrick provides a dynamic learning environment that encourages strong communication, collaboration and skill development. Students will benefit from coaching and mentorship from some of the best leaders in the international mining community. From time to time, students will work cross-functionally in other departments, providing an opportunity to gain a greater appreciation of each business unit in the organization.

Learn more about career opportunities with Barrick.
 

Kraft

—Lori BillingAssistant HR Manager, Talent Acquisition 

Top 3 summer internship tips:

1. Create a goal plan and own it. At Kraft, your internship isn’t just a summer job – it’s a chance to experience what it’s like to work for a company that where you own your results. We set goals that our interns work towards throughout the summer, but interns can also add their own goal to achieve something that is important to them. At the end of the summer, you want to be able to point to an accomplishment and say “that was me – I did that!”

2. Get involved with something outside your job description. Not only does this allow you to show your leadership and initiative, it also helps to build your network at the organization! For example, find out which charitable organization(s) the company you work for supports, and organize a volunteer event for your team or for the interns you are working with.

3. Build relationships. With your team, with your boss, with your boss’ boss, with your HR contact – people should know who you are and what you are working on, and should hopefully have great things to say about both!

How does Kraft ensure its interns have the best possible summer job experience?

The Kraft Canada Summer Internship Program provides interns with experiences that build the foundation for a phenomenal career.

Leadership development is at the core of the Kraft Intern experience: we provide interns the opportunity to lead a project with all the Kraft interns, present to the Kraft Canada executive team, and work on challenging assignments that have a direct link to our strategic priorities.

We want to make sure interns are equipped for success, so every intern gets a “buddy” to help them navigate the professional and social network at Kraft, and we hand-pick and train our intern supervisors to ensure that interns receive regular feedback and coaching.

And of course, we have a good time. From trampoline dodgeball to Blue & White Day to weekly BBQs and food truck lunches – we have a blast and our interns do too!

Learn more about career opportunities with Kraft.
 

Suncor Energy

—Lauren LaroseHR Marketing & Communications Advisor

Top 3 summer internship tips:

1. Get involved as much as you can by participating in social events, helping to organize employee events, raising money for a charity the company sponsors, etc. Making great connections is key!

2. Don’t be shy. Your boss wants to keep you happy and engaged, so don’t be afraid to take on more if you’re getting things done quickly or let them know when you’re stuck.

3. You’re there to learn. Ask for feedback from your boss and your colleagues about your performance and what you could work to improve in the future.

How does Suncor ensure its interns have the best possible summer job experience?

Suncor has a robust campus recruitment program, and we hire many students for co-ops and internships across Suncor all year round. We ensure students can contribute to Suncor by placing them in the right groups and teams. We encourage students to take on challenging work assignments so they can grow professionally throughout their work term with Suncor and we support them along the way so they are successful.

Learn more about career opportunities with Suncor.
 

Bayer CropScience

—Tara Fowlie, HR Business Partner

Top 3 summer internship tips:

1. Ask questions! We do not expect you to know everything. If you don’t know something that is asked of you, say so, but commit a time when you will get back to the person.

2. Establish relationships. Network as much as you can with peers, other employees, departments, customers and managers. You never know when you’ll run into these people throughout your career.

3. Take on a project that is outside of your regular duties. This will serve multiple purposes – it is a great learning opportunity and a chance to network with others, but also shows you can take initiative.

How does Bayer CropScience ensure its interns have the best possible summer job experience?

Our students are guaranteed two things during their time with Bayer CropScience: invaluable work experience and lots of fun! We ensure each student is provided with the appropriate tools to do the job, whether it is training or equipment. Each student is partnered with a dedicated Bayer employee for the summer. Their manager will provide guidance, learning opportunities and the opportunity to get their “hands in the dirt” to ensure the experience is a success.

We really put a lot of emphasis behind sufficient training. We kick off the summer term with an extensive training week that is tailored for each role. There is then further training provided within each region, department and throughout the summer.

During the summer term, each student becomes an integral part of the team. They are included in team meetings, customer events, team building activities, etc. Objectives are set at the beginning of the term and an evaluation is completed at the conclusion in order to provide regular feedback to ensure each student has a valuable experience. Each department hosts a wrap up event that always proves to be a good time (trips including camping, fishing, golfing, white water rafting, etc.).

Learn more about career opportunities with Bayer CropScience.

Photo credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

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About the author

Cassandra Jowett is TalentEgg's Content Manager. She joined the team as a student intern in the summer of 2008, and since then her heart has never really left the Egg Carton. Cassandra is a recent graduate of the Ryerson University School of Journalism, where she earned a Bachelor of Journalism with a focus in writing and editing for newspapers. She has also written and edited for The Globe and Mail, The National Post, t.o.night newspaper and other publications.