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Kellogg is known for its robust internships where college sophomores, juniors and seniors get real-world experience. No organizing files or fetching coffee for these folks. They are given meaningful, professional opportunities addressing current business needs. So what happened when the global pandemic hit and we had 83 interns scheduled to start in less than two months?

Liz Hamilton, Intern Program Manager

When Kellogg moved to a remote work environment in mid-March 2020, we asked ourselves whether we could host a successful internship program. Although a few of the interns would remain on site in our food production facilities, the majority would have to move to a virtual environment, just like most of our office-based employees. We talked with leaders and the teams hosting interns and everyone committed to moving to a largely virtual internship program. More important, they were willing to go the extra mile to make it work. By April 1, we notified our 2020 interns that the program would proceed.

Intern Program Manager Liz Hamilton

Liz with Tony

“Through COVID, all of us learned that people are more resilient and flexible than we might have previously thought...What matters is that people show up everyday and make the most of the opportunity.” 

Destinee Jennings, 2019 and 2020 intern, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI

When I started looking for an internship for summer 2019, I knew I wanted to talk with Kellogg at my university’s career fair. I grew up on the brand and want to work for a company that has been part of my life. I also was impressed by the company’s values and commitment to philanthropy. My 2019 internship experience was very rewarding, and I was looking forward to my 2020 internship when COVID-19 struck. Fortunately, we quickly learned that Kellogg would proceed with the program.

I’m the kind of person who tries to put myself out there. I look for opportunities and go for them. This approach served me well during my virtual internship. Since I couldn’t just walk past someone’s desk to ask a question, I made it a point to schedule time. It pushed me to be more direct, more verbal. Fortunately, everyone was open to virtual meetings, calls, texts and whatever it took to help me succeed.

Jamie with Tony

Jamie Marney, Campus Recruiter

Kellogg looks for interns who have a passion for the work and for our company. While they don’t need prior internship experience, they must have a hunger to learn and be willing to give it their all. These are the skills that are helping each of us during these unprecedented times. We were so proud to see our 2020 interns reaching out, getting involved and making the most of the virtual setting. From this group, we’ve discovered that intentionality is a big part of working virtually. You have to sometimes go above and beyond, and our 2020 interns made the most of every opportunity.

Photo highlights from the summer intern class of 2020.

Phillip Flores, Supply Chain intern, returning for 2021, Colorado State University-Pueblo, Pueblo, CO

I met the Kellogg intern team at the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities conference and was immediately impressed with their energy. When Liz called to offer me an internship I was thrilled. However, my experience was a little different because I worked in our largest cereal facility in Omaha, NB. First, I quarantined and then I went to work in the plant helping to improve our production processes. To keep my colleagues and our food safe, I just worked and went home all summer. Ironically, being home so much gave me the opportunity to build relationships with my fellow interns elsewhere in the company by email and video conferences.

Liz

To make doubly sure that the 2020 virtual intern class had what they needed, we provided each one with two professional mentors, versus our typical single mentor. Jamie and I also stayed extra close to the interns to help in any way we could. We’re now reviewing what we learned in 2020 as we plan for another class of virtual interns in 2021.

Destinee

As a Kellogg intern, I especially appreciated learning how the company is giving back in the community. We were given the opportunity to volunteer to make a difference through the Kellogg’s® Better Days global social purpose platform. I’ll be joining the company this year in a full-time sales role and look forward to getting more involved.

Phillip

I’m excited to be coming back to Kellogg this summer for my second internship. It took courage (a growth competency expected of all Kellogg employees) to start an internship in a new city during the pandemic, but we miss all the shots we don’t take.

Jamie

Through COVID, all of us learned that people are more resilient and flexible than we might have previously thought. As a result, our cultural norms have shifted. We now know that interns can be successful from anywhere and will be considering a hybrid model for our future internship classes. What matters is that people show up everyday and make the most of the opportunity.

 

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