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Virtual internships helped maintain Abbott’s STEM talent pipeline STEM

This blog was written as a guest by our Abbott partners.

Abbott’s high school and college internships are known to transform the way students develop in their careers. The program offers career development sessions, networking opportunities, and challenging, real-world assignments – all of the experiences job recruits need to be successful. It’s an important part of the global healthcare technology company’s talent pipeline planning.

It starts with the high school program – 78% of eligible students transfer to Abbott’s college program. And each year, more than 60% of college interns become Abbott employees. Over the years, several Abbott executives have started out as interns.

Because of this, it was not possible to cancel the programs when the coronavirus threat made personal internships difficult or impossible. Instead, Abbott quickly switched to the virtual environment.

Efforts included working with managers to adjust and refocus dozens of internship assignments, forming peer-buddy mentoring groups, scheduling regular live video discussions with executives, and creating a special app – Abbott InternLink – that students use can interact.

“We live in a world full of unknowns,” said Vildan Kehr, Abbott Divisional Vice President, Global Talent Acquisition. “However, we can be sure that these young people need opportunities and support. Companies can also remotely organize internships in a meaningful and personal manner and help secure their own future. “

DIVERSITY STRATEGY

Abbott’s Virtual Internships are an extension of its commitment to providing opportunities in the STEM fields to young women and students from all backgrounds.

Last year, on August 26th, Women’s Equality Day, the company launched its “Shaping the future of STEM” Blueprint with the hope that other organizations and companies would use their advice to create similar high school internship programs.

STEMconnector supports the effort and believes that if more companies offer internships, more students are exposed to STEM and would see a future. The need is there: Federal data show that only 24% of the MINT workforce are female, while a further 850,000 MINT jobs are forecast by 2028.

That is why it is so important that internships like Abbott’s programming continue. The numbers are proof:

  • That summer, 70 percent of Abbott’s high school interns were from various backgrounds.
  • Of the 130+ students who completed Abbott’s STEM internship in high school, 97% studied STEM in college.
  • Abbott has started hiring its first former interns as full-time engineers: eight of the eleven are women.

For more information on Shaping the Future of STEM, see www.stem.abbott

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