SCUSA’s Create Your Career internship ‘experience’ provides students real-world challenge

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Keith Wickramasekara, 2014 web design intern.

Associates at Santander Consumer USA should not be surprised to see a lot of fresh, new faces soon.

The third year of the company’s “Create Your Career Summer Internship Experience” is getting on track, and anticipation is high among those involved with the program.

“This year we’re expecting 50-plus interns to participate, up from 42 last summer,” said Philip Witcher, manager of university relations for SCUSA. He said “excitement was pervasive throughout the company” during last year’s program and that he expects the same this year.

“We look forward to adding interns to the technology teams as they bring energy, fresh perspectives and diversity to our organization,” said Glenn Harper, chief technology officer at SCUSA.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with fresh new talent in 2015,” said Nichole Brown, IT portfolio manager in enterprise data services. “We achieved a lot of success in 2014 with our college interns, so the thought of grooming new talent is exciting to our department.”

The University Recruiting team is continuing to build relationships at local schools including Texas Christian University, Southern Methodist University, the University of Dallas, University of North Texas, University of Texas at Dallas and at Arlington, and Texas Woman’s University. In addition, the team has branched outside the Dallas-Fort Worth area to the University of Texas at Austin.

“Every year the talent gets better, and I am positive this year’s results will be amazing,” Brown said.

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Dustin Sparks, 2014 commercial originations intern, at work.

The 12-week internship program 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,” Witcher said.

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

“The interns had the opportunity not just to see the work we do and the department’s impact on the company but to get valuable hands-on experience,” Harper said.

The internship experience will begin with orientation May 18-19, with managers, mentors and some former interns joining the new arrivals for a welcoming meet-and-greet. Then it will be off to assignments in over a dozen departments from marketing/communications to finance and accounting to decision science and corporate engagement. New internship areas this summer will include business development, operational training, risk management and graphic design.

The internship program is organized by a team comprising Witcher, Andrew Mahr, new university recruiter Keli Morris, and associates from Talent Development.