Aramark has launched an environmental internship program designed to meet a growing need for employees who have a practical understanding of environmental initiatives plus fundamental business knowledge. The program provides young professionals with corporate experience and creates an awareness of the role environmental stewardship can play in all jobs.
"Environmental practices can be incorporated into virtually any job, and through the Aramark environmental internship program we can help develop employees who make the connection between the work that they do, and its impact on the environment and on our business," said Rick Martella, Aramark vice president, business affairs in a prepared statement. "Embedding these internships in key roles across the company will provide environmental knowledge and skills that are not confined to a single position or type of job, and can be easily shared."
Aramark partnered with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) to develop the program and identify applicants who demonstrated strong conservation leadership. SCA, which has experience recruiting and hiring environmental interns for federal agencies and non-profit organizations, helped Aramark select 10 young professionals for its inaugural class. SCA also helped Aramark in the development of training materials for the interns.
"Internships have shifted from an academic need to a career necessity," noted SCA President Dale Penny in a prepared statement. "To compete in today's market, young job candidates need real experience and a corporate internship provides a genuine, competitive advantage."
The 10 Aramark interns, who are pursuing degrees, or have recently graduated from college, have been hired at several Aramark locations, including colleges and universities, conference centers, national parks, businesses and convention centers. In these roles, the interns will collaborate internally and with clients to offer expertise and practical solutions to help clients meet their environmental commitments in a variety of areas, including purchasing, waste management, building operations and energy and water conservation.
At the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business, for example, Rodica Kocur will be responsible for supporting all aspects of a composting program, including research on best practices and potential implementation campus-wide. Intern Michael Seaman will work at the Monterey, Calif. Asilomar Conference Center, assisting with the implementation of an Environmental Management System, and sustainable food and beverage programs.
The internships began in March, and will continue for six months. The program kicked off with a 3-day orientation to introduce the interns to Aramark and SCA, and provided background on Aramark's corporate responsibility and environmental commitments. Throughout the program, the interns will receive onsite training and support from their managers, as well as feedback and support from the SCA and the corporate environmental team managing the program. Information learned from the interns' projects will be shared and replicated across Aramark.
Aramark's environmental internship program is part of the company's corporate responsibility commitment. Aramark seeks to responsibly address issues that matter to its clients, customers, employees and communities by focusing on employee advocacy, environmental stewardship, health and wellness, and community involvement.