Spectrum Scholar Shaun Shares The Power of Early Career Programs
Spectrum seeks value in providing opportunities for young professionals.
Spectrum offers early career programs and internships that have numerous benefits for professionals starting out. Shaun went from a Spectrum Scholar to full-time with the company. Shaun was one of 20 talented college students from underrepresented backgrounds who participated in the Spectrum Scholars program, a two-year early career development initiative that supports students from diverse communities through career mentorship, internship opportunities and a scholarship. Shaun interned with Spectrum Enterprise during the program on the vertical lead generation team. The Spectrum Scholars program lead Shaun to become a full-time marketing analyst at Spectrum’s corporate office in Charlotte, NC.
Spectrum Scholars is an educational program for eligible rising college juniors with financial needs who identify as Asian/Pacific Islander, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, or Native American. The annual scholarship program awards 20 college students $20,000 each, half during their junior year and half during their senior year.
Shaun’s experience highlights the many benefits of pursuing an internship with Spectrum. Research has shown that students who complete internships are 15% more likely to be employed a year after graduation and earn 6% more than their peers who did not intern. Plus, over a third of college graduates who have interned say that their experience significantly improved their employment opportunities and career paths, including Shaun.
Only approximately 63% of Asian students, 60% of Black students and 53% of Latino students participate in college internships, compared to 68% of White students. Inclusive internship programs help mitigate these disparities, creating cascading benefits for diverse professionals, and serving as a crucial tool for increasing corporate diversity.
Early career development programs have proven to increase the talent pipeline and the quality and fit of new hires. Spectrum’s early career development and internship programs are instrumental in helping the company and its 93,000 employees grow and succeed.
“Our early career programs are designed to supply our company with top talent and provide support for our employees,” says Jen Tracy, Spectrum’s Vice President of Talent Attraction & Acquisition. “We need talent that represents and understands the needs of our broad customer base. This makes us really deliberate in recruiting diverse candidates.”
Although, representation on its own is not enough. Many interns of diverse backgrounds, especially those who are first-generation college students, face unique challenges when navigating the corporate world, including a lack of access to coaching and the connections needed to take advantage of key opportunities. Spectrum’s 10-week internship program is structured to mitigate such challenges, and candidates from diverse communities are actively recruited.
“More importantly, our interns work on meaningful projects that help our company solve real-time business challenges. They also get exposure to and guidance from Spectrum mentors and leaders. The growth our interns and scholars experience is inspiring," says Elly Dickerman, a Director of Talent Acquisition who oversees Spectrum’s university relations. "They develop their own unique skills and in turn make their teams and our company stronger.”
In addition to Spectrum Scholars and our internship program, we have partnerships with a variety of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, with the goal of attracting more early diverse talent from underserved groups. We partner with organizations like the T. Howard Foundation and the Emma Bowen Foundations, which are dedicated to promoting diversity in the media and entertainment industries by providing paid internships to college students of diverse backgrounds. These partnerships provide a connection to diverse early career talent at Spectrum while preparing students to enter a corporate environment.