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Opinion

Summer Internships are a win for students and the mortgage industry

At this time of year, as the temperatures drop and the leaves turn, I am proud as Wintrust Mortgage wraps up another successful summer internship program. For more than 10 years, this program has been an effective, meaningful and mutually rewarding experience — for me, for the students and for the managers across our organization.

While students tend to initially see internships as just an opportunity to gain resume-worthy experience, we have learned that it's about so much more. It’s an opportunity to help provide the next generation of professionals with a clear path to bring their strengths to life, learn the importance of company culture and get them excited about the next chapter in their lives.

Plus they learn the purpose of what we do — fund the American dream of homeownership. For these reasons, the interns are entrusted to support high-profile projects that expose them to the intricacies of work life, as well as the multiple facets of our business. And of course, we also have a little fun along the way.

Over the years, there have been many rewarding stories, but I'm reminded of one particular intern who came into our program several years back. She was a marketing major, and after discussion about her areas of interest, was ultimately assigned an internship in human resources. Her experience and the insights she learned throughout her internship were so powerful that she returned to college, changed her major and now is a successful human resources professional in a midsized company.

We've also witnessed amazing work products via the group projects assigned to our interns. These group projects have included everything from secret shopping to competitive analysis to customer focus groups, and everything in between. These 20-somethings bring an energy and perspective that enriches us and oftentimes, even challenges our thinking.

Year after year, Wintrust Mortgage managers tell me how much they learn from the fresh perspectives interns bring to our work — not to mention, the leadership muscles they develop by coaching and mentoring a new generation of talent. So as you can imagine, many of those interns are ultimately brought on as employees.

As a leader, my goals include supporting the mortgage workforce and category. That's why internships are extremely important to Wintrust Mortgage. Internships are the perfect way to get the next generation interested in, and excited about, the next chapter in their lives. Hopefully that includes a long career with our organization.

And with the Class of 2020 approaching graduation in the spring, there is no time like now to organize your efforts to attract some amazing new talent.

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