Elevating the intern: Area executives lend leadership advice to students

Traditionally interns are considered the unappreciated office underlings who only have "access" to the coffeemaker and copy machine. But through the lens of the Summer Experience, Memphis interns are a valued and coveted group who, through the program's events, have access to city leaders and business executives who want to see them grow their careers here in the Bluff City. 

Hosted each summer by the New Memphis Institute, the series of free events offers local and visiting college and graduate students a chance to connect with one another, learn about professional opportunities here, and discover what makes Memphis great. The end goal is for these future young professionals to fall in love with the city and, hopefully, launch their careers here. Part of the strategy is introducing them to city leadership.

“The Summer Experience is designed to connect collegians not just with peers but with more established leaders. This access to business leaders is compelling for these students; it demonstrates the wealth of opportunity and support that exists for young people in our community,” said Nancy Coffee, CEO and President of New Memphis.

As part of the Summer Experience, New Memphis is hosting Leading in Memphis on June 18 at Malco Ridgeway. College students from Memphis and around the country will gather for breakfast and hear from a panel of several local executives who will discuss their leadership paths, lessons learned along the way and why they choose to lead in Memphis. The event is sponsored by ServiceMaster.

The panel will include Shannon Brown, SVP Human Resources at FedEx; Rob Gillette, CEO of ServiceMaster; Daphne Large, CEO of Data Facts and Mary Kay Runyan, SVP of Supply Chain Management at ServiceMaster; and will be moderated by Dr. Reginald Coopwood, CEO of Regional One Health

“We’re delighted to support the Summer Experience because it creates a meaningful workplace learning opportunity for the future leaders of Memphis,” said Rob Gillette, CEO of ServiceMaster Global Holdings. “Nothing we do as leaders is more important than attracting, developing and retaining talented employees.”

Leading in Memphis is one of five events left through July, the final of which connects students to Memphis Mayor A C Wharton. During this up-close conversation on July 14 at Memphis BioWorks Foundation, with Mayor Wharton will share his perspectives on Memphis’ future -- and how the students can be a part of it.

You can view the full schedule of events here. The Summer Experience is free and open to all college interns, graduate students and recent grads. Registrations are still being accepted via the New Memphis website
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