July 29th marks an important day at Gentherm – National Intern Day. Originally created by WayUp, a platform used for finding internships and careers, National Intern Day is dedicated to honoring the future leaders of the world – interns! WayUp also strives to create awareness for how internships are essential for acquiring valuable experience and industry exposure.
“We want to show students what a professional work experience is like. It’s important for our interns to get a good understanding of what their field entails and if this is a career they want to pursue.”
Gentherm’s internship program, based in the U.S., is focused on career development and business education for college students of all ages. Each intern is assigned a summer project to work on that directly correlates with their respective department along with a peer mentor and manager to report to during the duration of the program. Each assigned project aims to run parallel to the objectives of the organization and strives to positively impact the business while also providing real world experience for the interns. Senior HR Generalist and Internship Coordinator, Noelle Norton explained, “We want to show students what a professional work experience is like. It’s important for our interns to get a good understanding of what their field entails and if this is a career they want to pursue.”
When asked what his favorite part of the internship was, IT intern Artem Sharkota explained,
“It’s the people around me, as well as having the ability to learn new things by being exposed to different tools, techniques, and ways of solving problems. I learned how to think differently about problems in non-standard ways. And many of the technical skills that I now understand, I use on a daily basis.”
Gentherm’s internship program also recognizes that it is important for interns to work alongside other areas of the business to gain exposure and understanding of how global businesses operate. This is made possible through “Lunch and Learns,” started by Norton in 2020. “Lunch and Learns” are 40-minute sessions where interns learn more from Gentherm’s Executive Leadership team, including their responsibilities and their career journey.
Along with the “Lunch and Learns,” Gentherm’s interns are given guidance on refining their resumes, and at the end of their internship they are able to demonstrate their impact to Gentherm during their internship presentation that is given to their managers and members of the Executive Leadership team. These opportunities provide interns with the skills and knowledge to develop professionally by exercising their business skills. “There is a lot of productivity over the summer because our interns have the desire to work hard and demonstrate their skills. That’s why I enjoy seeing the end of summer presentations because they help us see the talent and desire to be here at Gentherm.” Norton added.
While there are plenty of professional and educational opportunities offered throughout the program, Norton and her team recognized that interns also need a chance to engage with each other in order to create a comfortable and amicable work environment. Each summer the program offers different fun activities for interns to participate in together such as Tigers games, Field Days, Top Golf, and for the first time this summer- a community service event in Detroit that involved growing its community gardens. The well roundedness of the program allows for an immersive internship experience and a chance to enjoy all aspects of the company.
Overall, Gentherm is extremely proud and grateful for their interns and what they have to offer each summer. Senior HR Manager and HRBP Katlin Mathews stated, “They are the future of the company. Organizations don’t stay innovative and grow when the same mindsets are kept. I appreciate the input of young minds that challenge the status quo and think differently. They look at things from a new perspective.”