Expanding networks for talent through partnership
T-Mobile consistently seeks ways to support the growth and development of youth in the communities it serves and increase employee pride and satisfaction in their work. The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) team was interested in exploring whether employing opportunity youth in their stores could contribute to a positive work experience for managers while also providing a meaningful work and learning experience to young people.
Working with Human Resources, T-Mobile’s CSR team joined the Talent Rewire Innovation Lab to pilot a summer internship for opportunity youth with the assistance of Grads of Life. T-Mobile partnered with Bellevue Community College in Washington to recruit seven young people interested in gaining work experience through the new SUM-X program. Interns engaged in a 2-week training program to familiarize themselves with T-Mobile and the expectations for employment. They then began a 6-week in-store internship experience. The pilot also included manager training to help participating managers understand how they could be supportive mentors to the interns.
At the end of the pilot, all participating managers stated they would hire the student who worked with them in the event they had future roles. Additionally, all participating young people found the internship experience valuable. Based on the success of the pilot, the company transitioned the program to its Early in Career Team, which is the same team that manages the traditional internship program, and began scaling. T-Mobile is expanding the opportunity to a total of 16 stores in three markets in partnership with JUMA and Per Scholas.
For our pilot, it was important to start small. This allowed us to learn how to engage with and support our interns and our employees so the project would be successful. We developed the program in record speed and we did it with very strong partnerships, both internally and externally. Working with Talent Rewire and Grads of Life exposed us to a lot of great resources to help us with this process.
Talent Acquisition Leader