Genesys Works Intern Sparks Medtronic Initiative
In August 2017, Class of 2018 Medtronic intern Kachi asked a simple, insightful question. He wanted to know whether or not there was a place to celebrate employees of the month at Medtronic. Fast forward, and his question has sparked a monthly celebration with investment from multiple levels of the company.
Kachi’s program coordinator, Jade Denson, was inspired by his idea. Jade shared Kachi’s question with Danielle Giles, Human Resources Director and the company’s sponsor for Genesys Works. From there, the concept made its way to Sarah Nieters, Vice President of IT and Genesys Works board member. Together, Danielle and Sarah created a game plan and in October, officially celebrated the first Intern of the Month, Veronica Venegas in Desktop Support:
“Veronica has demonstrated such a commitment to excellence that within the first two months of her internship, she is now trusted to independently staff the help center when her supervisor is away. She takes the initiative to seek out additional opportunities like the Dell TechDirect program, which she hopes to complete within the next month. After finishing, she will be Dell certified and be able to independently take apart and fix computers without supervision.”
Says her supervisor Chris McQuerry, “I hate calling her my intern. I call her my coworker.”
This single celebration has greatly impacted Medtronic’s leadership team (those that champion Genesys Works at Medtronic), supervisors, and interns alike. The leadership team now incorporates intern winners into their monthly calls to ensure intern voices drive Medtronic-Genesys Works programming, which in turn, creates leadership development opportunities for interns. Jade has received countless stories from supervisors about their own interns’ progress and achievements and have also reached out to congratulate Veronica, increasing transparency between supervisors and other interns in the company. Interns have actively sought out new opportunities with their supervisors and have even requested advice from Veronica, hoping to be the next Intern of the Month. Some have chosen to pursue Dell certification because of her.
As for Veronica, her dedication to a meaningful internship has led to recognition but more importantly, opportunity. She spoke at Medtronic’s town hall where she exclaimed, “I’d do this for free if they weren’t paying me!” and met with Sarah Nieters, during which they discussed everything from a potential college internship to their goals and aspirations. In an email to Jade, Veronica claimed, “Because of this experience I will be setting up more shadowing opportunities and interviews with people so I can expand my knowledge about the company and different career pathways.” Sarah stated it was “by far the best meeting I had all day!”
Since Veronica, more interns have continued to excel in a workplace that celebrates progress and provides opportunities. One intern’s question has the potential to be transformative if the right people choose to invest.
Genesys Works creates pathways to career success for students in underserved communities, and it is the commitment of our interns, supervisors, and partners who help to create these meaningful opportunities. Want to highlight an intern in our upcoming newsletter? Share your story with us!