An industry-leading technology company was feeling challenged to create a feeling of connectedness with their intern housing program. They were lacking a cohesive global internship experience that would provide a consistent experience and encourage conversion to full-time associates. The client had internship programs in multiple countries across the globe with plans for expansion over the next several years. They were looking for an intern housing solution that would immerse the interns in the company culture and values, while providing an experience that would encourage the intern-to-employee conversion rate.
One of the key factors attributing to intern dissatisfaction pointed back to program policy, which offered interns a lump sum figure that was not an adequate amount for housing in the popular cities where offices were located. Because of this, interns were forced to supplement with personal funds to cover housing costs or choose housing locations that were a significant commute from the office. In some of the most severe cases, interns chose to work disruptive hours in order to avoid sitting in traffic to get back to their housing. Another issue that detracted from the intern’s experience included the decentralized housing model, which prohibited a sense the community that is usually found when interns reside at the same location. Being in multiple countries also created issues with housing and experience consistency – which was extremely important to the client.
The client knew there was a large program issue when they aggregated intern feedback and reviewed comments, online reviews, survey data, and conversion rates. The client realized that they would need help from a global housing company to completely reconstruct its current program. They partnered with Oakwood Worldwide and subsequently, built a community-rich housing program that created an immersive and scalable experience as the client’s internship program expanded. Additionally, an immediate change was made to the client’s housing reimbursement policy and interns were offered 100% coverage of all housing costs. Oakwood Worldwide then helped the client revamp a comprehensive program that included important elements such as centralized housing units, an automated-roommate pairing system, customized communication and informational websites for each internship location. Upon arrival, interns were greeted with a personalized experience that included welcome letters and company-sponsored premiums, and was situated within a sub-set of housing units that housed other interns. Each part of the new program enhanced the intern’s experience and created a sense of community that would lead to increased intern satisfaction and ultimately to employee conversion rates.
Through its partnership with Oakwood Worldwide, and a clear focus on delivering an impactful and positive intern experience, the client’s intern housing program has increased by over 30% and now accommodates over 2,500 interns across the globe in more than 25 countries. The program has received excellent accolades from the interns with an astounding 96% satisfaction rating.