When AppleOne was looking to expand its internship program to the East Coast, Nicole McMurray was the first one to raise her hand. And taking that risk on new, young talent paid off big time. In this guest post, hear more about how AppleOne launched its successful “Intern-to-Dream” program in Orlando.

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Class of 2019 AppleOne interns.

At AppleOne, our commitment to interns is that they will join a team of forward thinkers in an innovative program that focuses on turning them into future leaders within the workplace. We call our program the “Intern-To-Dream” program because we want to help students find a path to their dream career. I was so excited to support our company’s West Coast initiatives and was even more thrilled when the Orlando region was chosen for the East Coast expansion of the program. I interviewed and selected our interns and was truly inspired by their enthusiasm. On June 10, I welcomed the first EVER East Coast class of 2019 AppleOne interns.

I have been in the employment industry for over 15 years, and recently I’ve been hearing the buzz over concerns regarding the “next generation” of workers. I must admit I was a little nervous about what our program would look like, how much time I would be investing, and how my team would respond to our new recruits. Even though I said yes to this experience, that first day I wondered…how will this really work?

Our first day in the office, all our interns were 15 minutes early, they were dressed to impressed and so excited to learn. They jumped right into our curriculum and began asking questions about their final project. A few weeks in, they were completing tasks that brought value to our team and our clients welcomed them as they shadowed us on visits. We were investing in them daily and it was paying off BIG-TIME. We hosted a full day workshop to teach them how to market themselves in the workplace, how to define their career and how to prepare for an interview. As we role-played, I saw it—I saw them begin to show their confidence, enjoy the uncomfortable and work through their circumstances with bravery.

I was relieved that the small part of me concerned with this program was suddenly soothed with excitement and progress. I was reminded that there are so many amazing students out there. I have seen a group of students that respond with gratitude, are amazing with technology, ask questions to learn and understand and are excited to be a part of a team. I am so thankful I said YES to the “Intern-To-Dream” program.

If you are ever wondering if you should add an intern to your team, I would reply with a bold YES. I had the chance to mentor six students who will join the workforce as lifelong friends of AppleOne. The investment in the future will pay off big time and I am grateful I was a part of their journey.

Interested in hearing more from Nicole? Sign up for her presentation on Talent Attraction in a Hot Market at the Orlando Regional Chamber on August 22nd.