Why Belden Welcomes Interns Every Summer
We think internships are incredibly valuable for students who are looking for career guidance, as well as for our own employees and organization. Interns get to work in the real world, applying lessons they’ve learned and taking on real responsibilities. Meanwhile, we get to learn from them, too, as they bring unique ideas and fresh perspectives to the table. Sometimes all it takes is a new set of eyes to renew our own interest in what we do and remind us of how awesome it really is to work in this industry.
For these reasons, we always look forward to welcoming a new class of interns to Belden every summer. In addition to being incredibly talented, these up-and-coming professionals bring their own suggestions, viewpoints and experiences with them. This year, nine interns spent time in our Indianapolis and Richmond offices. During the summer, they had the opportunity to work on real projects, gain valuable business skills and collaborate on new programs for Belden.
To tie everything together at the end of the internship program, we host a three-day Internship Capstone in Indianapolis—time to put those new skills to work! Here’s a look at what we do …
Day One: Teamwork & CollaborationThe first day brings collaboration via breakout groups, discussions about the internship experience and activities to help the interns from two different offices get to know each other even better.
At the beginning of the summer, each intern completes the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, a tool for self-awareness and improvement. During the Internship Capstone, Goal Success Consulting President David Jacobson visits to discuss assessment results, what they mean and how to prepare and brush up on skills in preparation for presentations later in the week.
As a fun collaboration project, the interns also get to complete a Bike Build: They’re divided into two teams and placed in separate rooms to work together to build a bike so it meets safety standards. (They also have to figure out and exchange tools/parts that we mix up beforehand to make the process a little more challenging!) This year, Belden was able to donate two new bicycles to the local Salvation Army.
Pictured from left to right: Carli Wilson, Anthony Zaccardelli, Drew Roberts, Ethan Berenbaum, Adam Skerl, Jacob Rokop, Alex Reed, Zach Demmary and Brittany Poholarz.
Day Two: Meet Belden’s ECLPThe second day of the Internship Capstone introduces our interns to Belden’s Early Career Leadership Program (ECLP). Instead of hiring young professionals for a specific position straight out of college, we take a different approach: We train them to become leaders through a fast-paced, versatile program that exposes them to all areas of our business.
The three-year program gives graduates a wide variety of involvement in several functional areas: finance, operations, marketing, R&D, HR, etc. During each rotation, participants gain real-world, hands-on experiences through day-to-day tasks, special projects and training opportunities.
Interns speak with past and present ECLP participants to find out what they think of the program, and they get to ask senior leaders questions about career progression and life after college. After that, each intern gets a chance to practice their presentation. To celebrate the end of a successful day, we take interns, intern managers and Indianapolis leaders out for a fun-filled dinner.
“This year’s interns were great!” says Holly Keller, director of marketing communications for industrial markets at Belden. “I had the opportunity to get to know the Indianapolis interns pretty well over the summer, so it was nice to hear what they learned and what they want for their futures. I hope to see many of them back full-time in the ECLP!”
Day Three: Show Us What You KnowThe third and final day is always a big one: Each intern presents for 12 minutes, followed by a three-minute Q&A session with managers and leaders. They report on what they did and learned over the summer, explain interesting findings they uncovered during their time at Belden and make recommendations to our senior leadership, their managers and peers.
We listen with open minds to what they say, taking it to heart and doing whatever we can to improve based on what they experience.
“I had the opportunity to sit on a Q&A panel with the Indianapolis and Richmond interns at the end of the internship period,” says Mariel Oettinger, channel marketing specialist at Belden. “The interns asked thoughtful questions about what it’s like to work at Belden and what [we] have learned about leadership and career development. It was interesting to reflect on these topics and hear the perspectives of fellow panelists in different parts of the business. I believe the interns walked away with some great nuggets of advice on how to begin building a rewarding career.”
This year’s summer interns did an outstanding job, and we wish them the best in their future endeavors! (And if your company doesn’t have an internship program, we highly recommend it!)