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Redefining the 'Intern'

By Mary Kroger


Getting coffee. Running errands. Observing, but not speaking. Working, but not experiencing. When most people think about the word “intern”, this is usually what comes to mind. As young twenty-somethings enter the workforce, they often start from square one – getting their footing, keeping their head down, and just trying to stay afloat. But what does this teach? Where is the passion? Where is the drive?  
I started as a Leadership Development intern (LDI) for TTEC at the end of May. I drove 17 hours from Cincinnati to Denver with a car full-full of anxiety, having no idea what I was getting myself into. I moved into a home with four other interns who I knew nothing about, and let me tell you, the first car ride to work was tense. We walked up to this enormous building, clenching our bags, and shaking in our freshly pressed business casuals. One last exhale as we opened the door to the next two months… 

Smiling faces. Cheering. Music. Pictures. Hugs. We were home. The next thirty days consisted of complete immersion into all that TTEC is – training, workshops, mentorships, and roundtables with the company's employees, executives, and even founder, Ken Tuchman. All 18 of us were given individual duties, as we worked on projects, joined daily meetings, and provided solutions for our respective departments.  

I joined the Engage Client Marketing team training as the social portfolio lead. Every day since then, I've learned something new, been given a new challenge, and have had the opportunity to make connections I didn't even think were feasible. Coming into the office each day knowing that the work you do makes a difference isn't just rewarding – it's addicting.   

To better understand what my co-interns were up to, more about the summer internship in Denver,  and how their experiences with TTEC have been so far, I sat down with them and asked the following questions: 

Why did you choose TTEC for your internship? 
“I really thought the hiring process was different than any other place. They weren't asking questions about logistical stuff or things you should already know a few years into a job – they were asking about situational and behavioral. It showed a lot about what they care about. I really liked how they wanted us to just be good people and hard workers, and they would teach us the rest when we got here. I also liked that they accepted all majors.” – Tatumn, Talent Acquisition Marketing LDI 

What were your first impressions of TTEC? 
“My first impression honestly started before I even got here, when they sent the cookies. Which is kind of minimal, but you know, it's not. It just shows that they really care and make an effort. And then we got here and the energy was super high and we all ran through and checked in with our badges and everyone was cheering. It was just a really, really great experience and every single person I talked to was really fun.” – Alex, Digital University & Talent Acquisition LDI 
What has been your favorite memory so far? 
“When we met the CEO – that was pretty cool! It's pretty cool that he came in and talked to us and provided feedback on other things like what we were doing in our homes. He also connected us with people who could give us more expertise in our area. I shook hands with the CEO! I now have him as a connection!” – Lathania, TTEC Digital LDI 

“Moulin Rouge was amazing. It was a place for us to connect in a way, it was a fun show, and it showed me that TTEC actually cares about us. They went out of their way, and they didn't necessarily have to do that for us, so that was nice.” – Mahi, Product Engineering LDI 

What's the biggest thing that you've learned so far? 
“To take advantage of the things you have around you. Whether it's TTEC learned, or it's a roundtable, or you literally email any person in this company, and they want to meet with you. Those are not opportunities a lot of people get to have in their lifetime.” – Robert, Demand Generation LDI 

What has it been like working in your home? 
“My home has been absolutely amazing! If I could get a full time offer with them right now I would take it. I feel like what I'm doing absolutely holds value, and that's what you want in an internship program. What I'm doing is actually important and it's something that will help improve the entire organization. For me to know that I'm contributing something of value and impact makes me feel really good, and I just love everything that the team is doing.” – Ekua, Global Real Estate LDI 

How do you think TTEC sets itself apart from other internships?  
“TTEC really emphasizes our roles so that everyone in the company knows who we are and are excited to help in any way that they can. I've never had this much exposure in previous internships. Here, I can put time on the calendar for anyone and they'll recognize what 'Leadership Development Intern' means, and they'll want to give their time to give advice or just talk to us about what we're interested in – just the reach that we have definitely made a difference.” – Shannon, Strategic Transformation and Innovation Accelerator LDI 

Hearing all that the other interns had to share was incredibly uplifting. From marketing, to coding, engineering to project management, each of us have found a sense of purpose throughout the summer. Not to mention we made a cohort of new friends and connections upon our arrival in Denver. 

Just as TTEC has redefined what customer experience should look like, they have also managed to redefine what it means to be an intern.  

Come and learn more about TTEC , our University Recruiting programs, and follow us on social to engage in the conversation. 

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