Santander ‘experience’ provides select students top-notch summer challenge

Interns get acquainted before getting down to business.
Interns get acquainted before getting down to business.

The Santander Consumer USA “Create Your Career Summer Internship Experience” has returned this year bigger and better than ever.

Now in its third year, the program comprises a total of 56 students in various SCUSA departments.

“We’re expecting big things for this year’s summer internship program,” said Philip Witcher, manager of university relations for SCUSA, who helps to organize and direct the program.

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SCUSA legal intern already at work.

The program, which runs 12 weeks, is “designed to enhance student learning and professional development outcomes by providing a top-notch paid experience to high-achieving college students who will positively impact the current and future success of SCUSA’s business,” according to Witcher.

Among the universities represented by the interns are Houston, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Minnesota, Virginia Tech and Columbia; Texas schools including Houston, Texas, Baylor, Texas Tech, Texas Christian, Texas A&M Commerce, and Dallas-area schools Southern Methodist University, University of North Texas, University of Texas at Dallas and at Arlington.

The program includes opportunities for student interns to:

  • receive training and development
  • engage in unique work experiences
  • glean real-world skill development related to career interest
  • work on projects independently and as part of a team
  • participate in entrepreneurial challenges
  • be considered for job placement after graduation
  • network with SCUSA executives and managers
  • participate in community development

“As the program continues to evolve, we have listened to the feedback from previous years and made some great enhancements that will make the experience even better,” Witcher said.

“The feedback from the students and managers has been tremendous thus far as they’re excited about the new team-building activities, the internal Sharepoint site — the ‘Intern-net,’ and enhanced professional development opportunities. With active participation from over 40 managers, 50 mentors, and 56 interns, we’re excited about the possibilities.”

The Santander Consumer USA internship class of 2015.
The Santander Consumer USA internship class of 2015.

The internship experience began with orientation May 18-19, with managers, mentors and some former interns joining the new arrivals for a welcoming meet-and-greet . Then it was off to compliance training – which reportedly did not dissuade a single intern – and assignments in more than a dozen departments from legal and compliance to decision science and corporate engagement. The information technology department received the most interns, 21.

The effort that has gone into developing the SCUSA program was not lost on the interns.

“My first impression of SCUSA is that the people are absolutely amazing,” said one business analyst intern. “It’s really rare to work for a place in which everyone is so nice and very transparent in the sense that they want to share as much knowledge with you as they can.”

“My team is awesome. My manager is very helpful. And I am impressed by the advanced work and research they do,” said a data science intern. “I couldn’t really have asked for more.”

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