Hormel Foods launched a virtual internship program to accommodate 60 college students from around the country. With internships in flux at many corporations due the effects of COVID-19, Hormel Foods believed it was imperative to not only honor its commitment to inspired summer interns, but rethink and revolutionize its entire program.
After being recognized by Vault as one of the best 2020 internship programs in the retail and consumer products category in the nation, the company is creating a hands-on program to educate these students and provide them the opportunity to work with all levels of management. The company averages an astonishing 70% conversion rate of interns becoming full-time employees. The paid eight-week program will run from June 15 through August 7 and each applicant will work 40 hours per week.
While the interns won't physically be at the corporate headquarters or other company offices as initially planned, they will be reporting in remotely and working from their homes for the duration of the program. The company will send technology resources such as computers to each intern and coordinate a virtual orientation day for their first week. The goal of the orientation day will be to provide them the same experience as if they were attending in person and acquaint them with the entire organization. Orientation will include networking with former interns, meeting with the CEO/divisional leaders, cultural beliefs training and reviewing policies and procedures. 
Hormel Foods will use Microsoft Teams and WebEx platforms to include interns on regular weekly meetings and projects. They will also use these video capabilities to conduct product trainings with sales interns, product cuttings where they will teach the interns about the company's products, the features and benefits and even have them cook up the products in their own home.
The curriculum will provide more virtual training than ever before and this will allow the company to address professional development opportunities, job specific training and additional product training for the sales interns.