Summer Intern Season at Ingredion
The COVID-19 environment has triggered unprecedented disruption and caused economic despair across many industries. However, it presented an opportunity to evaluate the internship program that we offer every summer as we remain focused on our commitment to our incoming interns by offering our internship virtually. Our 2020 internship program grew into a hybrid model of both on-site and virtual work experience. Previously, interns were hosted at our plants and offices across the United States but now are provided with the same real-world experience in areas from food science and finance to engineering in a virtual format. This year, Ingredion’s approximately 50 interns representing more than 30 universities, are participating in a new program model. Many plant interns are working on-site most days; however, office and lab-based interns are doing most of their work virtually and only come in the office on an “as needed” basis.
“Ingredion’s internship program provides a tremendous amount of value as we’re able to leverage connections and collaborate with highly regarded universities to identify great talent and future leaders,” said Greg Aloi, vice president, customer co-creation and open innovation. “More importantly, internships are a valuable tool when it comes to finding new talent and cultivating the characteristics needed for a role that fits the culture within our organization. Several past interns have joined Ingredion and have contributed significantly to our business.”
To prepare for the three-month virtual internships, Ingredion set expectations with interns early in the process, including attending Q&A sessions with Meghan Dillie, program manager, early talent at Ingredion on how the program would work. Managers were armed with virtual internship best practices and tools to help their interns during the program.
“Nothing can compare to an in-person internship, but we adapted and believe that we are still providing these students with a well-rounded experience,” said Dillie. “As part of the program, our interns are invited to weekly virtual chats called “Lessons with Leaders” as well as an informal weekly check-in and happy hour hosted through Microsoft Teams. A University Program Summit held with executive leadership members serves as a wrap-up event for the program.
“The summit is a way to ensure interns are connected to each other, as well as have the opportunity to interact with senior leaders within Ingredion,” said Meghan Dillie, program manager, early talent at Ingredion. “The interns present their summer projects and accomplishments to their peers, managers and leaders. It’s really their time to shine and show how they’ve been an asset to the team and what they could do as a potential future leader.” This year, the summit will be happening virtually, including a kick-off chat with Ingredion president and CEO Jim Zallie.
“Our intern program continues to be a great source of outstanding future diverse talent for Ingredion,” said Marcus Payne, vice president, continuous improvement, corporate and North America. “We benefit from eager, highly motivated and extremely intelligent young professionals who are excited to marry their academic learning with real-world application in the workplace. And now, with the recent launch of our Operations Talent Development Program, we have another tool in our recruitment arsenal to help us identify, hire and retain the best and brightest future leaders.”
More information on Ingredion’s internship opportunities can be found on the website.