Many employers in the last few years have had a hard time finding top talent to fill essential roles within their organizations. According to the National Skills Coalition there are still 12.3 million unemployed U.S. workers while 3.6 million jobs remain open. Employers report that they cannot find workers with the right skills to fill these jobs.
If you find yourself asking, where’s the disconnect?, then you are not alone. One contributing factor might be that despite thousands of graduates entering the workforce every year, very few feel they are actually properly prepared to do so. According to a Harris Interactive survey only about half of college grads say they’re prepared for the workplace — and the number of bosses who think they are sufficiently prepared is less than 40%. So what can an individual do to enhance their chances of being hired once they’ve graduated? Well part of the answer might lie in the fact that many employers state that they are 80% more likely to hire an entry-level candidate who has completed a formal Internship program.
It is against this backdrop that John Leonard looks forward to launching our 2014 Summer Internship Program, starting in May. Apart from providing exposure to the business world and the opportunity to develop valuable skills, we are excited to hear their unique perspectives and ideas. "We also believe that our internship program will help bridge the skill-gap that currently exists and will better equip the participants to successfully enter the workforce" says Derek McKinley, President of John Leonard Employment Services, Inc.
In launching this year’s expanded program we asked our current Marketing Intern, Tiara Kafati to “put pen to paper” and write about her experiences over the last 6 months. Here is what she wrote:
"John Leonard has been an incredible opportunity, adding to my professional development through new learning experiences each day. During my first interview, I instantly saw that everyone was very inviting. After a week, my initial opinion was confirmed. Everyone was friendly and always available to answer questions, a community style of working that dramatically appealed to me.
In addition to assisting the Marketing Department, I assisted recruiters with resume searches, organized/created spreadsheets and provided online business development research. My job was very diverse...never boring.
Another bonus was that my manager (Blair Fleming) always clearly defined projects and provided assistance, along with feedback, when necessary. She gave me space to tackle assignments in my own way. In working with my manager (I had my own working station in the marketing department), I was an equal contributor of ideas and branding/marketing concepts that were implemented. I worked on multiple social media personal branding/promotion projects, designed holiday promotional materials in Photoshop, wrote a blog/new slogans, performed industry research, researched buyer personas, designed new brand logos, as well as learned how to use industry software such as Bullhorn, CareerBuilder and LinkedIn Recruiter.
My biggest opportunity came when I was asked to create a competitive research and re-branding presentation, which included many of my own ideas, all of which, I presented to both the President and CEO of the company. I never thought that as an intern, any of my ideas would be taken this seriously and actually incorporated into the overall strategy recommendations of the marketing department/company."
We are really looking forward to giving this summer’s interns the very best experiences throughout their time with us. If you are interested in being considered for John Leonard’s 2014 Summer Internship Program please apply immediately!