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Metro Business Thought Leader Uncategorized

Interns are Vital to Atlanta’s Wireless Mobility Sector

By Jonathan LeCompte, president – Georgia/Alabama Region, Verizon Wireless

By Jonathan LeCompte, president – Georgia/Alabama Region, Verizon Wireless

Atlanta’s growing wireless mobility sector has become a hub for industry innovation and growth. To keep driving that momentum we are tapping into an important resource for talent: interns.
Employers like Verizon seek value in an intern’s fresh perspective and the vital skill set these technology natives possess. Internships have been a vital recruitment method for many companies in the mobility sphere. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, approximately 77 percent of companies primarily use internship programs to recruit entry-level talent. In today’s job market, internships have evolved into an extended interview process that evaluates an individual’s work ethic, skill level and cultural fit before incurring the expense of a full-time hire.
It makes perfect sense from a business perspective. Approximately 50 percent of internships and co-ops will convert to full-time hires, which is great for sourcing talent. Of those interns that converted to full-time hires, 57 percent are still with the company after five years, which translates into a low turn-over rate.
In an effort to satisfy the demand for new talent in Atlanta’s growing mobile technology industry, Verizon Wireless partnered with our city’s biggest mobility event, Mobility LIVE!, in 2013 to host an intern summit where mobility companies connected with students from Metro Atlanta’s universities. Companies ranged from the big players to new startups and included Verizon, AT&T, The Weather Channel, Star Mobile, Catavolt, WNA and more.  The intern summit was so successful that we did it again in 2014, drawing a 60 percent increase in student attendance.
At this year’s event, Verizon Wireless’ own Morgan Henry shared insights gained as an intern with our company for three summers during her time at Howard University. Her experience was more than a stepping stone – it was a catapult into a challenging and rewarding career. Morgan has now been with Verizon for four years, and has held several different positions within our marketing organization, gaining invaluable experience along the way.
Why are events like this one vital for all parties involved? Connecting with students while they are still in school allows employers to hone in on talents and aid in connecting class lessons to the real world. By showing a student where native-technological skills and business collide, we are generating awareness about opportunities in mobile technology he or she may have not been exposed to previously. Additionally, not only are internships mutually beneficial for both the intern and the employer, but also for Metro Atlanta. By embracing young talent, we are creating a better quality talent pool for the entire region. If we keep that talent in Metro Atlanta, we can help make Atlanta the global leader in mobile innovation.
I invite you to join companies like Verizon Wireless, The Coca-Cola Company, How Stuff Works, BlueFletch, The Home Depot and more who are foraging Metro Atlanta’s universities looking for the expertise that will revolutionize the next era of mobility.

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