MADISON, Wis.—Aug. 15, 2022—To conclude the 12-week summer internship program, interns at WPS Health Solutions virtually presented their final group project to senior leadership, including President and CEO Mike Hamerlik.
The project is meant to have a lasting impact at WPS for the next class of interns or the company as a whole. The 2022 class, which included 32 interns from across the country, focused on optimizing the employee experience for the entire employee lifecycle, from “hire to retire.”
They named this year’s project “Free to Be Me—Moments That Matter” and identified six moments employees may experience at a given moment in their careers: attract, recruit, onboard, engage, develop, and reward. Using internal and external surveys, industry research, and competitor analyses, they shared their findings and provided data-driven recommendations to the company for each of these career milestones.
The interns agreed companies should prioritize “getting their own house in order” first. Prioritizing an inclusive culture internally will attract and retain top talent. “It must begin from within,” they explained. They commended WPS Health Solutions for its current, caring culture and heightened employee engagement.
“It’s strange to think that we had just started working at WPS only a few months ago and that we had no relationship with each other yet,” Ryan McGrath, an intern, said. “But by the end of the project, we built a sense of a small community that was able to put a lot of collective effort into making this project. We had many dedicated and inspiring people working closely together, with some fantastic advisors helping us along the way. I, for one, am very happy to have had the chance to participate.”
This year's internship program was led by Savannah Paukner, corporate recruiter and internship program lead.
“I am incredibly proud of all the hard work and dedication the interns put forth with this year's project,” Paukner said. “Their research, findings, and recommendations will continue to support WPS’ Core Values and propel us into the future of really supporting and developing the employee experience at every stage. What they accomplished in such a short amount of time—all within a remote environment—gave us a small glimpse into what amazing and innovative things they will accomplish in the future. It was an absolute honor and blessing to walk with them through this small part of their journey.”
The final project was just one element of the extensive internship program. WPS interns focused on: