|Carol with her winning Sultans of Sauce team, 2013|
For the last four years, I have traveled to Orlando every June for what is always one of my most memorable weeks of the year. Before you conclude that I am a big fan of theme parks, I should add that I actually have never been on the grounds of any of the parks. What brings me to Orlando every year is Protiviti’s Intern Challenge – a weeklong orientation, held adjacent to Downtown Disney, for the elite college students selected for internships at Protiviti offices across the United States.
The Intern Challenge is the first week of an 8-week internship program designed to give the participating students the foundation they need to be successful not only during their internships with Protiviti, but also in their future careers. The Challenge is built around a series of business simulations and role plays that immerse the students into real world business situations. It also includes meetings, small group discussions, and social activities with Protiviti’s leadership team – that’s where I come in; I am a member of Protiviti’s executive management team.
Over the course of the four years, I have met the most amazing young people. I marvel at their confidence and poise and I am energized by their enthusiasm and eagerness to learn new things. And, the learning is far from one-sided. Among other things, the interns have opened my eyes to social issues – one young woman a few years ago recommended that I read Half the Sky and I was very affected by the tales of human rights oppression of women and children around the globe – and, I hope, have taught me a little about what is important to the Millennial generation.
I enjoy sharing my career history with them and am especially delighted when someone comes up to me to tell me she or he is “so happy to hear that a liberal arts major can make it in the business world” or “thinks advising clients on regulatory compliance sounds really interesting.” I also enjoy the one-on-one conversations that take place at the social events and always like participating in the annual teambuilding event we call the “Salsa Challenge. “ I’d like to say that the teambuilding event is not about who wins or loses, but I think a little healthy competition can be a good thing and I was quite pleased this year (thank you again, Team 3) when my team won the “Sultan of Sauce” award.
Once orientation is over and the interns disperse to their assigned offices, I have had the pleasure of being an adviser to several and having others work on my client projects. I enjoy the daily interaction and being able to share with these interns some of the soft skills and technical knowledge that are important to consulting. I also share in the experiences of the entire intern class by following their blogs, which are usually very entertaining accounts of their lives in the consulting world.
At the end of the internship comes the job offers for those individuals whom we want to join the firm. If we have done a good job at campus recruiting – and our Campus Recruiting team is expert at this – most of the interns will receive, and we hope will accept, an offer. Then, it’s back to college for senior year. For the interns, this means knowing with certainty that an exciting and challenging job awaits. For Protiviti, it means that we have begun the process of developing the next generation of consultants who will help our clients identify and solve their critical business problems.
— Carol M. Beaumier
Executive Vice President, Global Strategic Planning