Over the past three years, Maitland has hosted a very pleasing total of 120 young interns across all areas of our business, providing them with an opportunity to experience the workplace and giving them the confidence to take their careers forward. An internship programme in itself is an achievement but more importantly we need to measure the social impact in line with ESG principles so that we can further refine and boost this successful programme into the future. Shanaaz Parker, Head of HR, and Lynn Alkana, Talent Business Partner, take us through the methodology applied and its results.
Maitland interns have shared valuable feedback on key metrics relating to their lifestyles before, during, and after their internship. Unpacking this data has created real understanding of how the intern experience impacts many aspects of an intern’s life, including their emotional state, future career prospects, mental and physical health, and long-term financial stability.
We first initiated our own internship programme in 2014 and then aligned it with an important public/private initiative, the YES programme (“YES” stands for Youth Employment Service). Our social impact survey was completed using an equal number of past and present YES interns.
The impact of internships on bottom line-earnings
As the majority of interns were unemployed prior to the internship, the internship programme provided them monthly salaries for the first time. Following their internship, the majority of past respondents achieved employment either at Maitland or elsewhere, with most doubling their earnings once permanently employed. Additionally, most past interns are now contributing to their retirement, thereby improving the status of their long-term financial stability.
The impact of the internship on spending
Instances of debt were reported by the majority of respondents, with a slightly higher level of debt amongst past interns. However, in most instances the majority of respondents believed that that their debt would be paid in the near- to mid-term.
Interestingly, past interns increased their average monthly spending by 40% and were slightly more likely to own their own transport and own computer.
The impact of internships on mental and physical health
Current interns report feeling anxious but excited about their future, while past interns report being hopeful and excited. More past interns report eating healthy meals and sleeping well and over half of all past interns report now having medical aid and improved healthcare.
The impact of internships on home-life
The majority of both past and current interns are not dependent on others but both groups support family members financially. Past interns were only slightly less likely to live independently.
We also came to understand that in both instances of past and present interns, approximately 20% of interns needed to relocate to participate in the internship and 30% continued to study during and after their internship.
The impact of internships on work experience
All respondents would recommend the programme. As reported by a past intern, “I really learned a lot during my internship and it helped smooth out the transition from being a student to being a professional.”
A current intern said, “It has been a wonderful learning experience, more especially being in a team of such dedicated and smart individuals. I am learning a lot from them.”
The impact of internships on career prospects
Following their internship, 63% of past interns were immediately offered permanent employment either with Maitland or elsewhere in the financial services industry, and 80% believe that the internship enabled them to successfully find a job.
As one past intern declared, “This was the start to my Finance Career and I wouldn’t be where I am without this experience. It was phenomenal.”
Another stated, “My internship experience at Maitland was amazing; my expectations were met. I have gained so much experience and skills that enabled me to excel in my next job.”
Lynn Alkana, Talent Business Partner, said, “We are incredibly proud of our interns and the value they bring to our business. The data evidences marked increases in earnings, career prospects, and health but my greatest joy comes from the incredible stories of success my interns continue to share with me long after their internship. Stories of their ability to buy their first flat or car, providing a house for their family, or really knowing that someone’s life has been fundamentally improved through this programme.
“We also now have a clearer picture of some of the difficulties our interns face. We will be exploring these challenges further to provide our interns with the best guidance for future success.”
Maitland will continue to survey interns to gauge their experience and the social impact of the internship programme. For more information on the programme, visit> https://www.maitlandgroup.com/careers/maitlands-internship-programme/