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Investing in the Future Intern programming

You’re neck and neck with your competitor. Each of you are describing your company in detail — how your employees are the best and the brightest and your work is second-to-none. You finish your spiel and sit back and wait for a response knowing that you’ve put your best foot forward. Are you vying for a new project? No, you’re at a college career fair trying to attract the best interns. 

The days of interns making coffee runs are (or should be) behind us. Internship programs are now key for employers looking to differentiate themselves in this competitive recruiting market, and MMC Contractors has made a focused effort to establish a high-quality program that attracts the best talent. Interns seek real experience and offering a robust internship program not only gets them excited about a career in our industry, it leaves them with a positive association with our company. 

So what’s in a robust internship program?


Our talent team gives our interns an idea of what they should expect out of their internship, but also what we expect from them. They are looking for real experience, but we’ve also entered into this relationship looking to get something out of it. We make sure they are set up for success at the upfront by ensuring they fully understand the parameters of the internship and expectations of things they can do that are important to our company and the team (yes, even things as simple as showing up to work on time or early). 

“We start our internship program with an orientation meeting. In addition to a traditional company overview, we go over what they can expect for the summer — both from a work and programming perspective, as well as how they can be successful in their internship. We also provide ideas to help them get connected in their community, our company, and the industry while they are with us for the summer and beyond,” said Mary McCann, talent acquisition manager for MMC Corp, parent company of MMC Contractors. “We make sure to share our expectations so they can understand what success looks like to us and are set up for it from the beginning. It sets the tone for the entire internship and it’s working! This past summer we invited 83% of our summer interns to return to our company. ”


Allowing students to experience different types of work within our office and the option to visit a variety of jobsites helps them fully understand the breadth of opportunities available to them within our company. Students may enter expecting to find their place in project management and leave with an appreciation for estimating. Allowing them the flexibility to uncover their interests is a significant benefit to them. 

MMC Contractors assigns interns to their own project team, but throughout the summer they have opportunities to visit other jobsites for a tour. Every job is different and when students spend all of their time focused on one project, it’s harder for them to see the bigger picture. 

Exposing interns to many projects is important, but so is giving them the opportunity to really focus on one area. Giving them the chance to specialize and really dive into a project helps ensure they leave the internship with a good grasp on what a future, full-time job would entail. 


Make no mistake, these students are paying attention to everything. And one thing that’s especially important to younger generations is finding the right cultural fit. 

Paige Taylor, a 2017 intern and now full-time project engineer with MMC Contractors - Iowa, used her internship to gauge whether or not she could see herself in that role after graduation. 

“I was given the opportunity to interact with almost every person in the office over the course of the summer. This helped me develop an understanding of all the different roles within the company so I could decide where I fit best,” she said. “My decision to return full time was contingent not only on the fact that I enjoyed what I would be doing on a daily basis, but that I appreciated the people I would be working alongside. Ultimately, the exposure to who MMC Contractors is as a company, made it an easy decision to come aboard full-time when I graduated.”