There have been a lot of changes at Bombardier since I joined the company three years ago. Some of these changes and improvements have received a lot of attention, yet some important ones – such as the growth and enhancements to our internship program - have gone overlooked. But just because it hasn’t generated a lot of headlines, make no mistake, our newly refreshed internship program is among the best in the industry.
Over the past few years, we’ve made some exciting improvements that culminated in a heartfelt celebration this morning, bringing together industry leaders, college officials, students and policymakers. At the celebration, we announced our new commitment to provide more than 1,000 paid intern positions for the 2019-2020 academic year. That’s almost double the number of internships we provided in 2016.
We didn’t just boost the number of internships we offer. We’ve also expanded our reach into higher education by increasing by nearly three times the number of universities with whom we partner. In the coming academic year, we expect to recruit interns from 23 colleges and universities across Canada, up from eight in 2016. Students can jumpstart their careers with positions in Engineering, Science, Finance, Law, Communications and other business functions.
Of course, one of the reasons why Bombardier is committed to our internship program is to help identify and hire the brightest minds from the next generation as we continue to drive innovation in our industries. But our commitment to the internship program goes beyond that.
We believe that corporate internships are a key ingredient – along with a strong university system and sound government industrial policy – to a competitive workforce and continued economic growth. And, with the rapid pace of change and the speed of technology today, partnerships between business, academia and government have never been more important.
The simple truth is that, while no company can guarantee life-long employment, every company can provide opportunities for skills development. And, our internship program is just one example of how Bombardier has embraced its role as a responsible corporate citizen.
At today’s celebration, I told our new interns about improvements made in the way Bombardier manages and administers its program. I explained that we want interns to have a positive, enriching experience. Note I said positive — not easy. Because Bombardier interns will be challenged. They are joining a company that is in full transformation mode amidst strong competition and fierce criticism.
Some people might feel that’s too great a challenge. At Bombardier, we say that’s perfect.
We want interns who welcome big challenges, who embrace responsibility and who will take pride in working for a company whose products move more than half a billion people around the world every day quickly, safely and reliably.
I explained to our interns that at Bombardier, time, space and gravity aren’t just facts of life; they’re challenges we overcome every day. And soon – for some of them – these challenges will be theirs to overcome.
I explained that I’m often asked how much further the next generation of business jets will be able to fly or how much faster the next generation of high-speed trains will be able to travel? What are the upper limits? What is possible?
I don’t know the answers. But I do know where to look: toward our new class of interns. And with their energy and passion, I can’t wait to see where they take us!
Welcome aboard, Bombardier interns!
Vice President Communications and Public Affairs