MADISON, Wis.—Sept. 10, 2020—With many businesses around the nation canceling, postponing, or shortening their summer internships due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 12-week program at WPS Health Solutions was held virtually, concluding at the end of August.
The WPS class of 2020 had 29 interns working remotely across nine states.
The program was led by Corporate Recruiter Devon Witt and Talent Acquisition Director Tina Wallace. Although the goals remained steadfast, the experience was very different.
Every year, the interns are tasked with a Pay it Forward project—something they can leave for the next class of interns or other employees at WPS. In mid-August, this year’s interns presented their final project to their teams to close out the summer.
The 2020 focus was on improving the remote work program. They focused on topics such as Office Set-Up, Citrix, Microsoft Teams, the Service Portal and Help Desk, and Team Engagement. Splitting into five teams, they tackled each element, then came together with a robust set of resources and tools for WPS employees and future interns.
“We hope that all of this information and our work this summer will be helpful in one way or another while WPS continues to primarily work remotely and for future remote employees after the pandemic is over,” said Gabby Evans, who interned with the Corporate Events and Community Relations team.
The Pay it Forward project was just one part of the internship program. WPS interns focused on:
- Gaining skills in their functional area of study.
- Gaining exposure to a corporate culture through professional development trainings hosted by the Talent Development team, Executive Speaker Series, as well as day-to-day meetings.
- Gaining project-management and team-building skills by working on the Pay it Forward project.
- Gaining public speaking and leadership skills by presenting their projects to their managers and the executive team.
“This year’s group of interns consistently went above and beyond in their internship projects. Being college students, they are familiar with learning and working in a virtual environment and ended up teaching us how to work more efficiently in a remote setting through research and the documentation they created,” Witt said. “I could not be more impressed with the creativity, attention to detail, and perseverance they demonstrated this summer.”