Why Internships Matter Today

Senior Manager of Communications, Kathleen Van De Wille, discusses the internship program at Signal Group and the importance of paid internships during these shifting times.

Over the weekend I was talking to my uncle, who recently retired after working at the same company for nearly 40 years. He told me how nice it is to have a pension so he can concentrate on his true passion: writing sci-fi novels. Hearing this, it felt like our generational divide was now so extreme it had become more of a chasm. A pension? 40 years at the same company? Retirement??
I am a millennial; born right in the middle of my generation. I am now 30 and have been at the Signal Group for 4 years, the longest I’ve worked anywhere. In the 10 years I’ve been working, none of my jobs have resembled the way my uncle worked his entire life.
For 40 years he worked at the same bank, went into a physical office every day, and earned his way to a decent retirement where he could sit down and dream about far-away planets every day. But my generation and the ones after me don’t, for the most part, think about work this way. We change jobs more frequently and, according to a CNBC/Harris survey conducted in May of 2021, 61% of adults aged 33-40 expect to be working at least part time during their future retirement.
Companies must be responsive to this kind of generational shift in how we work. The pandemic has only exacerbated existing trends, with huge upticks in people of younger generations quitting and looking to other jobs and industries for a fresh start. College seniors are graduating and looking at a job market that can be hard to predict or understand.
I’m burying the lead here, but I am writing to promote an institution I think is vital in these shifting times: the paid internship.
Internships give people the chance to try out new industries, new companies, and new opportunities. They allow those companies to get to know new employees as well, giving everyone time to make sure the fit really is right. I did an internship at Signal when I decided to switch careers and it helped me understand that communications was something I did actually want to do. It helped me see that Signal’s culture, values, and working style were for me.
At Signal Group, over 20% of our current full-time team started as interns. When we hire an intern, we know what it is like to work with them. We also know they have spent time getting to know this industry and this company and have decided that it is really a place they are going to thrive. And just as importantly, they know us. We provide professional development opportunities to our interns and keep them a part of Signal’s extended network even if they don’t go on to work for us as full-time employees.
The Signal internship is currently open, and we hope that you will apply or share this opportunity with someone you think would thrive here.
To learn more about Signal’s paid internship program and apply, visit our careers page.

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