On Thursday, February 27, the South Florida Technology Alliance (SFTA) hosted its monthly meeting. This particular meeting on “How a University Snagged a Presidential Debate” took place at Lynn University in Boca Raton, the location of the final 2012 presidential debate. As co-chair of the South Florida Infotech Development Initiative (SFIDI), I was invited to be a part of the pre-event workshop on “How to Grow Fresh Talent with an Internship Program”. Part of that workshop was also dedicated to a Q&A session featuring two former interns including our own Nicole Marmion who was in last summer’s program.
The pre-event workshop was focused on how to develop best practices around successful internship programs. I had an opportunity to walk through the maturation of our intern program over the last 5 years. We have developed a very successful program that is focused on delivering real value for both the interns and the company. Ultimately, this supports one of the founding principles at 3Cinteractive – “Create a great culture that focuses on the personal and professional development of the team.” Last summer, we had 10 interns in the 3C Boca office. Our interns ranged from high school students to recent college graduates. Over the last several years we have offered 10 full-time positions to our summer interns.
The key to building a successful program is cross-functional support within 3C. Last year we started planning in February for the summer segment. We designed the program with a focus on giving our interns deliverable projects that had actual value. The interns broke into two teams and learned how to use Scrum Agile Methods to manage the projects to successful delivery. In the end, we had a great 2013 summer program validated by our exit surveys of both our interns and employees.
SFIDI is a self-organized group of industry professionals and education partners working to build a strong technology workforce in South Florida. Building relationships between groups like SFTA and SFIDI is an opportunity to develop a vibrant local tech community. Overall, the evening was a huge success capped off by getting commitments from several companies to start intern programs.
About the Author: Mark Smith is responsible for 3Cinteractive’s day-to-day operations in his role as co-founder and chief operating officer. He has an extensive operational and marketing background in both telecommunications and the online payment processing industry.