The outbreak of Covid-19 has rapidly changed the way people work and engage with one another, and many companies have struggled to adapt. As the pandemic continues to redefine the ways we interact, many internship programs have been put on hold or even canceled. Faced with the decision to terminate or continue its 2020 summer internship program, Q2 resolved to keep it in place, moving it entirely into the digital channel.
A new kind of program
Q2 has long valued its rigorous internship program which provides opportunities for students to gain real-world experience in their field of study and help deliver on Q2’s mission to strengthen communities. With a strong emphasis on the importance of learning and development, the program allows talented individuals to enter the business and hone and develop their skills. After their program concludes, interns may continue their employment with Q2 or return to their communities with the knowledge and experience they have obtained.
With more than 30 interns joining teams across the company, the 2020 summer internship program hosts the largest class to date. As Q2 had already extended offers to interns when the COVID-19 pandemic began to change work environments, leadership and participating teams responded quickly, building a new kind of experience for program participants—a fully digital one.
Rising to meet the challenge
Creating a new program required Q2 to drop its original plan and pivot quickly – while at the same time transitioning its permanent employees to a work-from-home model. The team in charge of the internship experience swiftly redesigned the program so interns could take on their responsibilities from home. The turnaround was fast, with a fully realized virtual internship program developed in less than a week.
A virtual (and personal) experience
While the Q2 internship program has moved to a virtual model, it is no less engaging than before. Just as Q2 digital products and services create new ways for account holders to engage, the intern cohort is relying on digital solutions to stay in close contact with team members. From initial onboarding to final projects, the intern team is employing digital platforms such as Zoom Video Communications and Microsoft Teams to learn about Q2’s culture and mission, develop professional relationships, build their skills, and more.
Spread across multiple teams, Q2 interns are also charged with completing a number of projects during their tenure. To maximize their learning experience, interns aren’t given busy work. Instead, they are given encouragement and space to learn and a large amount of responsibility while being held to high standards. Curiosity is expected, and interns rely on their team members for counsel and resources.
Embracing Q2’s mission
Ultimately, 2020’s interns help Q2 hold true to its mission to strengthen communities by strengthening the financial institutions that serve them. This valuable opportunity to learn is also a chance to make an impact on their internal team and the financial institutions Q2 serves.
With this in mind, Q2 has enhanced the internship curriculum for 2020. An upcoming blog entry will explore a new community service requirement and how the intern cohort is working to make a difference for communities in innovative ways.