This summer, Insight Global welcomed 150 new faces to its internship program—an immersive eight-weeks devoted to preparing college students for a career in sales and staffing.
To learn more about this year’s intern class, we sat down with David Evans, Insight Global’s Director of Talent Acquisition, to shed some light on the program as a whole.
What has impressed you the most about this summer’s interns?
Their confidence and professionalism. They came in energized and asking questions from the jump. You can see how eager they are to learn. In the first week we saw people already volunteering to take on challenges, asking to cold call, and taking constructive feedback. There is no doubt these Interns are looking to make a name for themselves. I love how bold they are!
What does a day in the life of an Insight Global Interns look like?
The program itself is designed to mirror the first two months of a new hire’s career here. We only promote from within, so it’s imperative we find people who want to be here for the long-term. They have the opportunity to see exactly what they would be doing if they started full-time and determine if they truly love sales, staffing, and life at Insight Global.
While we are hiring for future salespeople (aka Account Managers), Interns spend a majority of their two months in the Recruiter position learning the fundamentals of staffing. Our Account Managers and Recruiters play the role of matchmaker, but for Fortune 1000 clients and careers across multiple industries—IT, accounting, finance, engineering, healthcare, etc. Clients discuss their hiring needs with Account Managers first—the positions they are looking for, skillsets, and the budget they have, and then our Recruiters work to find the right candidate(s) to fill those positions.
Interns will spend most of their day reviewing resumes, LinkedIn profiles, and applications, and then conducting phone interviews to ensure we find the right fit for the client and the candidate. When a match is found, we allow them to follow the sales process with an Account Manager—learning how we submit candidates to clients, schedule interviews, get feedback, and negotiate employment terms.
On top of daily recruiting, we engrain Interns into the sales process weekly. They will see how Account Managers win new business by pre-call planning, cold-calling, presenting, leveraging client relationships, and in-person meetings. By the end of the summer, Interns will gain confidence and the valuable skillsets of identifying new business, relationship building, interviewing, and negotiation.
What training opportunities are available to interns?
Prior to starting, we have virtual training sessions offered to anyone who wants a head start.
We also have onboarding training to prepare for their first day. In Week 1, they have shadow days with their mentors, daily wrap-up meetings, and join calls with leaders across the company to learn how they can make the most of their opportunity.
In Week 2, we fly all Interns to our Atlanta HQ for training at Insight Global University where they are taught by some of our best salespeople from across the country and get to meet our Executive Leadership face to face.
Throughout the remaining six weeks they continue to learn from their mentor, office leaders, and join virtual panel discussions with leadership. We want our Interns to know what success looks like and how to attain it.
Is there an opportunity to receive a full-time job offer after an internship?
Absolutely. Too often companies sell candidates on some utopian view of how perfect it is to work there: Culture! Happy Hour! Free snacks! We don’t like that.
When there is no effort to identify mutual purpose, it creates unrealistic expectations, misaligned goals, and dissatisfaction. We leverage this program as an opportunity to show Interns what a future career with us looks like, and we give them a chance to earn a full-time offer.
When we interview candidates for this internship, we interview them as if it were for the full-time position. We thoroughly discuss our Shared Values and Sales Identity. We also have a three-step interview process that includes a shadow day. Interns are only offered the summer program if we could envision them starting with us as a full-time employee. All that is even before the program begins!
During their eight weeks, we use this time to make sure we see them as a fit for the position, and ensure they feel the same way. We expect to see high character, hard work, and the ability to apply feedback. If they live out what they told us in their interview, we will often offer them the full-time role. That said, we know we must also live out what we promised them in the interview, or they will not want to return.
How can someone learn more about applying for a future internship?
First, make sure you want a career in sales. Look at our website, our LinkedIn, and social media. If you feel like this is the place for you, apply on our website, to a LinkedIn job posting, your university career board, or just send one of our Talent Acquisition Specialists a direct message on LinkedIn! We’ll get in touch quickly.
Do you have any tips on how to stand out in an internship application?
More than 70% of communication is nonverbal, so I love the classic advice: Show up to phone calls and interviews on time. Be prepared. Sit up straight. Dress professionally. Be engaging!
If it’s virtual, make sure the lighting is good and you’re in a quiet area. I also recommend asking your interviewer what they are looking for first and then speaking to those requirements. Think about how you can set yourself apart from other candidates—you are selling yourself.
Everyone says they are hard-working and motivated. Be specific and make sure you avoid generic answers. What examples do you have? Describe what motivates you in detail and how that will help you here. Don’t just say you want sales, describe what it is you like about this type of role. How will your experience correlate to a career in sales?