Meijer continues internship program virtually
While the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many events to be cancelled, Meijer has found a way to continue its college internship program.
The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer announced that the program would be taking a virtual model, allowing 78 students from 30 colleges and universities across the nation to participate.
Originally scheduled to begin in mid-May, the 10-week program needed time to transition to an all-virtual setting and allow students time to receive each laptop computer, therefore it started on June 1, the company said.
“Meijer has always been a nimble company, willing and able to adapt in the face of change. The coronavirus forced us to alter the way we do our jobs, but we rose to the challenge once again for these students,” Michael Rotelle, senior vice president of human resources said. “While nothing can replace the in-person learning and collaboration these students would have received from our team members, I'm proud of the Meijer team for adapting our program to ensure a valuable — and safe — virtual summer experience.”
Through this new digital platform, weekly virtual chats were added to the program, which gave students the chance to connect and learn more about such business areas as sustainability, diversity and inclusion, leadership, as well as participate in an executive speaker series.
Originally, Meijer was expected to have 121 interns for the summer but 43 internship programs were cancelled due to the pandemic. To make up for that lost time, the retailer is offering those students guaranteed internships for 2021 juniors and seniors, as well as guaranteed interviews for graduating seniors for possible full-time employment opportunities, a stipend to offset a portion of the financial impact that cancellation may have caused, and a summer learning experience about the retail industry created in partnership with the National Retail Federation.