By Andrew Patterson, Communications Committee Chair
I have spent most of my summer interning with AT&T’s Retail Leadership Internship Program. The 10-week program offers a preview of a full-time career working with AT&T. It is specifically designed to recruit students into their Retail Leadership Development Program, a six-month, full-time program for college graduates that trains you to become not only a retail sales manager (right out of college!), but also a future leader of the company.
The internship consists of seven weeks working in an AT&T retail store, and three weeks in a classroom setting in the corporate offices. While in the store, I work closely with a successful store manager who also acts as my mentor. I observe how the manager operates the store, drives sales, and leads people. The emphasis with this internship is leadership.
In addition to the mentorship from my store manager, I also had the amazing opportunity to meet several high ranking leaders all throughout AT&T. Highlights included: attending corporate manager meetings, day-long ride-a-longs with area managers, and hour-long meet and greets with executives as high up as presidents of the company.
It feels like I am meeting amazing people every day, witnessing several different leadership styles, and learning about several different career paths. This internship has spoiled me with immense exposure. From interacting with low-level sales consultants, to conversing with a president of the company, I have gained a comprehensive view of AT&T.
Although not a PR internship, I was exposed to several PR-related aspects of the company. I witnessed how AT&T carefully protects and positions its brand. I learned about their crisis management teams, their social media team and their numerous marketing teams.
This iconic company preserves its reputation by its commitment to customer service, comprehensive ethics and community involvement. In fact, during week 10 (I am writing in week nine), I am working in a soup kitchen for the day as a part of a community service project with the other interns.
Overall, I have had quite an amazing time. I had to relocate to Philadelphia for the internship and I was lucky enough to stay on the Villanova campus, making the experience even more fun.
Based on my performance, AT&T could potentially give me a full-time offer for their Retail Leadership Development Program when I graduate.
Based on my experience with this internship, the exposure to this company and the prospect of working in one of the thriving industries of the future, I am already strongly considering AT&T as the place for my future career.