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How One of the Top Internship Programs in the Country Approaches Professional Development

Alyssa Greenfield
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Published on November 3, 2017

Want an internship that gives you world-class training, takes you on tours of top companies, and provides access to technical certifications to help you get ahead?

You’ll find it all at CDW, a Fortune 200 company and leading IT solutions and services provider. CDW partners with over 1,000 leading technology brands to help meet the technology needs of customers around the world.

Last year in Chicago, CDW provided career-changing experiences to nearly 100 interns from almost 50 colleges. Any of them can tell you CDW approaches professional development differently. After all, there’s a reason they were named a top internship program in WayUp’s National Intern Day awards.

But how, exactly, is CDW different? Here’s an inside look:

1. Interns Learn How to Build Their Personal Brand
Summer interns are taught how to put their best foot forward—both online and in person. One professional development event brings in a LinkedIn guest speaker to help interns build rockstar profiles. Interns also work with CDW’s Social Media team and learn how to shine on any social platform.

CDW interns have exposure to executives, and they’re encouraged to speak up and share ideas. To help make the most of those interactions, interns learn how to best represent themselves during conversations and presentations. During a special Executive breakfast, summer interns also get to network with executives and have the unique opportunity to share career aspirations and what they’ve learned during the program.

2. Interns Get Top-Notch Training

Every year, interns complete Lean Six Sigma “White Belt Training”—a structured set of trainings focused on improving productivity and performance. In addition to training sessions on professional skills like public speaking, coworkers from CDW’s leadership team join interns for lunch to discuss the impact of White Belt Training on their own careers.

One of the most amazing parts? These experiences are also an opportunity to network and collaborate with interns across the organization. Interns from IT, sales, finance, marketing, and other departments all come together to share knowledge about their specific fields and learn about other departments at CDW.

Professional Development Days make CDW’s Summer Internship Program one-of-a-kind, but the theme of continuous learning isn’t just for interns. No matter where they are in their career at CDW, coworkers have access to amazing training programs and resources to help them advance in their careers.

3. Interns Team Up with Each Other During a Volunteer Day

Summer interns also have access to rewarding opportunities outside the office. Last year, interns gave back to the community by painting an old school on Chicago’s South Side and installed air conditioners to improve the learning environment for local students. More than half of the summer interns participated in this optional program to beautify the school, which was counted as a paid day of work.

The activities outside of the office don’t stop there: summer interns also go to Chicago sporting events, attend vendor events, and visit CDW’s distribution center.

Ready to see for yourself what CDW is all about? They’re hiring now, so head over to WayUp to explore their open positions, and apply.

More from CDW:
Five Things We Can All Learn from this Company’s Sales Training Program

Alyssa Greenfield WayUp Staff

Alyssa is the Senior Branded Content Editor at WayUp. A writer who loves sharing career advice, she helps the WayUp community learn about all the great companies that are eager to hire talented students and recent grads.

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