In one more action to overcome the challenges of this pandemic period, our school was able to offer in last July, both to its students and those from universities from all over the country, 276 vacation internship positions in startups and large companies.
Insper’s Center for Entrepreneurship (CEMP, for its acronym in Portuguese) and Career Center jointly developed the initiative. They had support from Preparo, a startup of our undergraduate students, which works in recruitment and selection processes.
Based on the initial difficulty of surveying vacation internship positions during this period, CEMP’s coordinator Víctor Macul tells that, at the request of Guilherme Martins, Dean of Undergraduate Programs, he began seeking to understand from startups how their past experiences with internships had been and what could be improved considering the context of the COVID-19 pandemic (reduced staff, cost cuts, and remote work).
“From this initial understanding, we set up an online form, Minimum Viable Product (MVP)-style, with an explanation of what the project would be like and a field for people interested in leaving contact information and comments. Based on the comments and a few more conversations, and together with the Career Center, we have refined the program format. In parallel, we validated the students’ interest in doing an unpaid internship and, also, the interest of the mentors in following the development of the projects, helping both companies and interns,” Víctor says.
“Still in that conception stage, we established a partnership with Preparo, one of CEMP’s Resident Startups. It took care of a large part of the Vacation Program’s operation. With support from the Insper Community, including professors and alumni, we promoted the program through LinkedIn and groups on WhatsApp. The number of people interested surprised us. There were over a thousand students enrolled, from universities across the country, ” the coordinator of CEMP completes.
For Tatiana Angelotto, Specialist at the Career Center, the return of the 276 vacancies offered shows the solid partnership created between Insper and the market. “Companies and students are taking advantage of this great opportunity to learn from each other, giving a breath of fresh air to practices and knowledge.”
For Preparo, in its turn, it has been an essential experience for the startup’s evolution. “We were able to advance a lot in our internal processes, being successful in carrying out tests with students, and forwarding the appropriate profiles to companies. We will follow-up the contacts with everyone involved to understand how we can further improve this process,” says Dener Vilarinho, who is a student in the third semester of Economics and the responsible for Sales and Process Automation at Preparo.
Gabriel Marzagão, a student in the 6th semester of Business Administration, is doing an internship at the leading food retail group GPA. He tells that the great diversity of companies and areas the Vacation Program offers has increased his interest in participating in it even more. “At a time when I’m seeking to decide what the starting direction of my career will be, I saw in the program the possibility of learning a little more about the corporate world and how remote work is functioning. So, I was able to access and sign up for several opportunities with ease.”
As for the internship, Gabriel says he is carrying it out at GPA’s innovation area, and that the experience is being great. “I joined a specific project to create a tool for measuring the return on innovation projects. The project, while allowing me to apply points I had learned in different semesters of the program and my participation in the League of Entrepreneurs, is exposing me strongly to the corporate world too. I have been attending meetings with different departments, and with the support of the innovation area, to be able to understand how the company works quickly.”
Otávio Thome, head of innovation at GPA, Insper Business Administration alumni, and manager to Gabriel in the internship, reports that he sees the online and digital experience as the future of this model. Also, it will have smaller and more relevant face-to-face interactions. “I believe that for students and depending on the type of business or field, the experience is not exactly 100% equal to the physical experience. For example, at GPA, we would have a round of visits to the group’s stores and distribution centers. On the other hand, with the online experience, we increase productivity because there is no commuting time, and there is the possibility for students to be involved in meetings with other areas, partners, and startups.”
Also, according to Otávio, the Vacation Program provides a win-win relationship with many benefits for both students and corporations. “For students, it offers the possibility of having a relationship with a company, startup, learning about a specific segment, understanding the operation of a corporate routine. Best of all, it all is possible before the student can apply for regular internship programs. For a large corporation like ours, it brings an unbiased view of some process or project and an open mind with many questions that can give birth to new internal developments.”
Isabelle Moschini Murollo, a student in the 2nd semester of Mechatronics Engineering, is an intern at the technology startup SF Labs. “As I had never had professional experience before, I saw a vacation internship as an excellent opportunity to learn and add value to my resume. When I heard that Insper had an opportunities portal, I soon signed up. I was looking for an internship in a more technical field of technology, involving Python and, preferably, artificial intelligence. At SF Labs, I’m already preparing a research project, along with the head of technology, on convolutional neural networks and datasets, besides other aspects of artificial intelligence and Python libraries”.
Anxious to begin a Vacation internship, but not quite sure about which way to go, Samantha Dell Vecchio Esteves, a student in the 3rd semester of Economics, saw the Vacation Program as a well-structured alternative that could help her. “I’m going through my first internship, and the experience at Prófase Digital, an agency specializing in digital launches, is being fantastic! I’m in an area in which I’ve never thought of working, which is that of digital marketing. Even so, I’m loving the knowledge I’ve been acquiring, realizing how I can put into practice what I’ve learned at Insper so far”.