Narcissistic. Entitled. Lazy. Although there is no scientific evidence suggesting that words like these describe millennials and Gen Z’s, they are too often the characteristics associated with the youngest generation. So much so that millennials and Gen Z’s themselves are starting to agree. However, not everyone feels this way about the next generation. Compassion’s internship program has been declared one of the top 100 internship programs in the country, a distinction that clearly shows its positive attitude toward young adults.
How does Compassion reflect an attitude of respect and optimism toward the next generation? While there are many ways, here are the top five described by past and present interns:
1. They say it.
Plain and simple. Compassion employees verbally communicate their belief in the potential of the next generation, a behavior which begins with the leaders of Compassion’s internship program:
“I am overwhelmingly optimistic about the next generation, just as I hope they will be about the one that follows them,” says Sam Askew, Compassion’s Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition. “I learn so much from our interns each year and try to encourage all of our managers to do the same. They are very cause driven and want to do things with purpose. They are generous and like to find solutions to problems.”
Supervisors at Compassion follow Askew’s lead, openly communicating their belief in their interns. That was Sarah Brackbill’s experience, a spring intern in 2018.
“I knew my supervisor believed in me because she told me she did,” says Sarah. “She championed me to other HR colleagues and spoke positively about me to senior leaders at Compassion.”
2. They give interns real work.
The supervisors in Compassion’s internship program aren’t all talk. They back up what they say by giving their interns challenging projects that contribute value to the operations of Compassion.
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“Compassion demonstrated its faith in me by entrusting me with a major project,” says Drew McMillen, a summer intern in 2018. “My work would literally impact millions of dollars’ worth of equipment each year, and doing my project well would mean Compassion could spend less money on unexpected facility issues and use more resources towards serving children in poverty.”
Not only do Compassion interns do real work, but they have a real schedule. Interns work 40 hours a week, Monday through Friday, 8 to 5, weekends off. And they are paid. You can’t afford to work for free, and Compassion doesn’t expect you to!
3. They invest in professional development.
The point of an internship is to grow as a working professional, and Compassion makes sure its interns are getting excellent development in this area. This includes weekly sessions with leaders of Compassion, hearing their stories and advice. Additionally, every intern has a mentor who pours into them throughout their internship and beyond. (Fun fact: Compassion has hired 57 interns since 2008, and has given many others great references that led to great jobs!)
“When I’m working with my team, I often forget that I’m an intern. But then I’m reminded due to the professional development experiences that our program offers,” says Sydney Roberts, a summer intern in 2019. “This organization has intentionally developed me professionally, personally, and most importantly, spiritually. I could not be more grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this program.”
4. They believe in personal and spiritual development.
As Sydney describes, Compassion’s internship program doesn’t just focus on professional experience. Compassion has a holistic child development model, and they treat their interns with the same care. This means mentorship, chapel services, departmental devotions, a gym and a host home with Compassion employees or their friends. It means giving you a community of 30 other interns, encouraging you to explore the BEAUTIFUL state of Colorado together.
“My supervisor was very busy, but he took time each week to invest in my personal development,” says Kayleigh Hudson, a summer intern in 2018. “He took hours to coach me on my top 34 strengths results, helping open my eyes to how God created me with specific strengths that I can leverage to further His kingdom. That experience shaped the way I view myself and better understand how the Lord views me.”
5. They give opportunities to have impact on a mission worth working for.
Compassion releases children from poverty in Jesus’ name, and they let their interns have direct interaction with and influence on that mission. The internship starts with a weeklong mission trip to one of the countries where Compassion works. The interns visit the local churches and see a Compassion center in action. After this experience, interns come to Colorado Springs, making a direct impact on the mission with the real work they do.
“Compassion is set apart because of Christ,” says Wilson Staley, a summer intern in 2019. “Working for Compassion comes with a sense of purpose and mission that you would not get at other companies. There is something amazing about working for others instead of yourself.”
Clearly Compassion values developing the next generation.
But why is this so important? Sam Askew explains why he thinks so:
“In many ways the next generation is a reflection on the current one. Have we mentored well? Have we let them be a part of things and at the same time given them the freedom to bring new and fresh ideas to the table?” says Sam. “I have always thought that if you give interns meaningful work and then pour into them like crazy then positive results will come out of that.”
This attitude toward the next generation has produced positive results at Compassion. And it is an example to young adults of how to treat the generation that comes after them. Each generation must be willing to pour into the next. They are the future of the world and of ministry to it.
Through Compassion’s internship program, you can serve with people who love Jesus and work hard in His name. People who will continually tell you – in both word and deed – that they believe in you. Summer internship applications are open now until December 27th, 2019!