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Softer Side: Summer internship recruiting season

Roland  Archer - March 07, 2017

Softer Side: Summer internship recruiting

The time to source, interview and ultimately extend offers to a few exceptional applicants for our summer internship programme is upon us. And, to no surprise, I’m star struck by the calibre of the candidates. They’ve worked to heal the planet, advise corporations on strategy, and help craft policy at the highest levels of government - among other impressive career and personal pursuits.

And, they’ve all decided they want to pursue an opportunity to work with us. It’s humbling, gratifying, and validating. Internally we know our programme is a unique opportunity. But, who knew our little secret had become common knowledge at top MBA programmes?

Upon further contemplation, perhaps one reason we’ve been so lucky in attracting such distinguished candidates is the structure of the Prodigy Finance programme. It’s kind of cool that we ask our candidates to propose a project that they're truly passionate about to work on during the summer.

If an applicant submits a desire to finance space travel for their programme’s Planetary Immersion Programme – and it fits within our strategic initiatives, that intern can build it out if hired. Space travel; how rock 'n roll is that?

Back on earth, evaluating new markets and products as well as building online communities have been projects proposed and completed during the summer months. Each project is assessed by members of our c-suite and used to bring us closer to our goals. This opportunity is a real gig that gives interns the possibility to add tangible value.

So how would one go about getting a slot?

With so many rock stars applying, my colleagues and I believe showing us that you care is an indispensable part of a successful applicant’s journey.

Everyone knows what a standard cover letter looks like. Yup, with a dry message that’s only slightly modified in the first paragraph for the opportunity du jour. I, too, am unquestionably guilty of sending more than a few of those letters out during my career. And, it shouldn't be a surprise that those applications rarely reaped a favourable response.

While interviewing with Prodigy Finance, one way to get our attention is to demonstrate an understanding of yourself.

What actually makes you tick? No really. We’re big on EQ, and we want to talk to candidates who understand how they’re wired and how they experience the world. What obstacles stand in the way of growth as an individual? Has the candidate decided to challenge him- or herself to overcome these impediments?

And, of equal importance, is demonstrating passion. Enthusiasm for a hobby, a sport, a genre of art, life is awesome. We're behind anything healthy and legal. The shiniest stars go to candidates that demonstrate a passion for creating global opportunities and fostering understanding among people... perhaps even understanding between people and aliens!  

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