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DEARBORN, Mich., June 11, 2020– Keeping people safe and helping limit the spread of the coronavirus won’t prevent Ford from providing more than 600 students valuable professional experience through the company’s annual summer internship program.
The 2020 internship class will telecommute to work, just as Ford employees across the country are doing as the company goes about its business differently amid the pandemic.
College students from around the United States are hired every summer into Ford’s internship program, where they work for several weeks in connected vehicles, design, marketing and a host of other departments. When the pandemic led some companies to postpone or cancel internship programs, Ford asked itself, “How might we do it differently?” – and found a way to keep it going.
“Internships are a valuable learning experience and these students are a great pipeline for future Ford talent,” said Lena Allison, Ford U.S. talent acquisition and onboarding lead. “It was important that we quickly redesign the internship program so we could still provide a meaningful learning experience and get to know them as potential future hires.”
Ford will ship laptop computers and headsets to interns so they can work from home. Start dates for the internships began this month, with students participating in virtual orientation on their first day. Their eight-week summer projects will provide a new type of hands-on experience in a virtual workplace. Interns will still have regular check-ins with their supervisors and skill teams, and the program will include numerous virtual social events.
Katlynn Stone, an undergraduate studying computer science at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan, is returning for her second internship with Ford. Her assignment with the connected vehicles team is designed to give her experience as a full-fledged software engineer.
“I was relieved and excited when I learned Ford is continuing its intern program,” said Stone. “I had a great experience last year and am looking forward to learning more.” Stone and her fellow interns will gain valuable work experience and establish new connections through the program, just as they would under normal circumstances.
“Working from home the last few months has taught us that we can definitely provide a fulfilling virtual intern experience,” said Allison. “Interns will get a sense of the Ford culture, build connections with their peers and other Ford team members, and gain great professional experience.”