Intern Roundtables Spark Innovative Ideas
By Leilani Romero
“Talented,” “driven,” and “enthusiastic” are some of the words company leaders used to describe PAE’s intern class of 2019. PAE works with universities across the country to hire internship and entry-level candidates for opportunities to work and learn from leaders in the industry; the interns offer PAE fresh minds and new perspectives.
As a part of the program, interns attended roundtable discussions with executive leadership over the summer.
Chico Moline, president of National Security Solutions, led one of the roundtables.
“This year, everyone had a question and participated,” he said. “As a speaker, the group was great to talk to. They all had great, relevant questions and were engaging. This group was memorable, energetic and extrovertedly into it.”
He said he wished they’d had even more time to work for the company.
“It was fun working with them, and I’m not wanting their last day to come around,” Moline said. “I enjoyed being around them. PAE thinks differently, and it’s great to have diversity. We need that fresh blood here.”
He cited the work of Carter Murray, University of Virginia, who created a prioritization tracker to rack and stack data for Recruiting. Katie Doherty, James Madison University, built a business case for the company paying off employees’ student loans. Matilda Segal, University of Georgia, worked on a project to motivate employees to plan their careers and achieve their professional goals.
“These intern projects have a long-term effect,” Moline said. “These are projects we can use year after year.”
Patricia Munchel, chief Human Resources officer, also participated in the sessions.
“The caliber of the interns this summer was top-notch,” Munchel said. “I found them to be inquisitive, engaging, articulate and confident. What I love about the internships each year, is that they are truly involved in business-impacting projects.”
Munchel listened to three interns pitch an employee perk that specifically addressed attracting new talent and retention. She also discussed career goals with the group.
“I especially love the follow-up networking and meetings I had personally,” she said. “The discussions to define the best career path are undoubtedly my favorite, particularly when the intern comes to me saying that they had no idea HR had such strategic impact across the business growth initiatives. “
Karina Vollmer, PAE’s chief Ethics and Compliance officer, participated in a discussion about the company’s Ethics Hotline. The group went through hotline report scenarios together, and they worked through their thoughts on how they would handle each of the situations.
“The interns liked it because it was interactive” she said. “Some were strategic thinkers, and others were process-oriented. They got a sense of what the hotline work is like, and that it is not as black-and-white as one might think. If someone calls with an issue, that does not mean you fully know what an issue is right from the start.”
She echoed Moline’s and Munchel’s appreciation for the group’s potential.
“This was a good group with a lot of promise and enthusiasm,” Vollmer said. “They each asked a lot of questions, each with a different approach.”
For more information on internship programs, go to www.pae.com/careers.