Empowering careers from the very beginning: Our Internship Programme

Pan Macdonald
Empowering careers from the very beginning: Our Internship Programme

Our SESers are what makes us. Therefore, it’s important to us, to not only recruit the best and the brightest, but also to ensure that we provide a great working environment. This means that, amongst other things, we place great emphasis on diversity and inclusion. A diverse workforce ensures that we have a blend of perspectives, backgrounds and skills, making SES an amazing place to work. As one SESer said: “It’s a fantastic place to learn and grow. It gives you the opportunity to work on so many different projects, in so many different groups. I think the future is bright at SES”.

Our commitment to all of this starts at the very beginning. We’re proud that we’re able to offer one of the best and most diverse Internship Programmes in our industry. In the last two years we’ve welcomed over 200 interns, representing 39 different nationalities, who were recruited from 109 universities. In line with our ESG goal of increasing diversity and inclusion, particularly with regard to women and STEM, 44% of our interns have been women, and we fully intend to continue to increase that number. And we’re delighted to see that approximately 15% of the interns that joined the program in this period stayed on to become permanent SESers after completing their education.

We have offices all over the world, and our interns are working in ten different locations. These include Betzdorf, of course, our headquarters in Luxembourg, but also locations as Brazil, Singapore and Ghana. This year, we’re also expanding the programme to include Romania and Ethiopia.

We welcome interns at different stages in their education. Some have not yet been to university, and a few have a Juris Doctor, but the majority have completed either a Bachelors or Masters programme. Everyone is unique, which means that they’re interested in different disciplines. Many want to work in technology, whilst others are more interested in strategy, sales, finance or our workforce. Whatever their background and interest, we try and place them where they will be able to both maximise their potential and widen their horizons.

Starting your career with SES

So, what is it about SES and our Internship Programme that makes so many of our interns want to stay and start their career with us?

Actually, the answer to that question is “many things.” We strive to make the internship programme experience as inclusive, yet individual as possible. From the onset, the internship programme was given its own identity. We have specialist recruiters/talent managers, who are known as Presidents of the United Nations of Interns. This ensures that our interns are a recognized group in SES, and no intern will ever feel isolated, or “confined” to their role or location. Even though our interns are spread around the world, they are connected to each other. We organise global online virtual games or activities that they can all participate in. Last year we organised a competition to see who could design the best SES Interns T-Shirt. Naturally, they were their own judges of this event!

At a more regional and local level, the interns nominate their own regional leaders, known as Intern Ambassadors. These Ambassadors organize regular meetings with the local interns, plan local events and organize group chats, to further build community. The Ambassadors also take part in global virtual events and university outreach. Who better to promote the program to students, than the interns themselves?

SES is the leader in global content connectivity solutions and operates the world’s only multi-orbit constellation of satellites. In order to make sure that our interns have the opportunity to learn about other parts of the company, as well as the one they are working in, we have a Leadership Speaker Series. During these virtual meetings, SESers of all levels, including the CEO, talk to the interns about their roles, and answer questions. Last year we had representatives from Internal Communications, Digital Innovation, Spacecraft programs, O3b mPOWER and Platform Services take part in the series.

A mutually beneficial experience

Our Internship Programme is designed to be a mutually beneficial experience. All our SESers and our interns are given every opportunity to develop their skills in whichever direction they choose. So, we make our interns aware of early in career positions when they arise in the company. We also follow-up with each one of them and their respective managers to better understand their aspirations and where they could add most value to the company.

We’re proud of this programme, but we’re not resting on our laurels, there are plans in place to improve and enlarge it. The last words about the program, should go to the interns themselves. These are just a few of the remarks that they have shared about their experiences:

“I love seeing people’s reactions when I tell them I work at SES. Everybody thinks it’s way too cool. And truth be told…it is indeed! I’m super grateful for this journey, especially for all the great minds I get to know each work day!”

“My mentors made me feel welcomed in a new environment and created the space for me to learn and not be afraid of making mistakes. With their guidance, I was able to grow a lot as an engineer this summer!”

“The human-oriented company culture and the easy-going people I built relationships with, are the added value that made this chapter (of my life) even more fulfilling.”

We’re very proud to see the positive impact our Internship Programme has for both the career prospects of our interns and our company’s growth. That’s why we know that – from the very beginning – everyone at SES has the power to define their story in ways they never imagined were possible!