The Internship Show

LexisNexis Risk Solutions Group

November 27, 2020 Scholars, Inc.
The Internship Show
LexisNexis Risk Solutions Group
Chapters
The Internship Show
LexisNexis Risk Solutions Group
Nov 27, 2020
Scholars, Inc.

On this episode of The Internship Show, we speak with Renu Midha and Shelley Jeffcoat from LexisNexis Risk Solutions Group. Shelley is the director of employer brand while Renu is an experienced senior talent acquisition expert directing the internship and leadership programs of LexisNexis Risk Solutions and it’s affiliated companies for the past several years. Previously, she worked at Travelport and British Airways as a Senior HR Manager and Partner. Outside her work, she volunteers with local senior communities as a therapy dog handler with her pup Adi.

We learn about the importance of culture and brand to their organization, how to land an internship with their team and more.

This episode was brought to you by Scholars. Scholars amplifies top employer brands to an audience of diverse students from across the country through curated podcasts, blogs, newsletters and more. 

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts
Subscribe on Spotify
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Listen to past episodes here!

Want to be a guest on the show? Click here to contact Parker about why you should be featured on The Internship Show!

Show Notes Transcript

On this episode of The Internship Show, we speak with Renu Midha and Shelley Jeffcoat from LexisNexis Risk Solutions Group. Shelley is the director of employer brand while Renu is an experienced senior talent acquisition expert directing the internship and leadership programs of LexisNexis Risk Solutions and it’s affiliated companies for the past several years. Previously, she worked at Travelport and British Airways as a Senior HR Manager and Partner. Outside her work, she volunteers with local senior communities as a therapy dog handler with her pup Adi.

We learn about the importance of culture and brand to their organization, how to land an internship with their team and more.

This episode was brought to you by Scholars. Scholars amplifies top employer brands to an audience of diverse students from across the country through curated podcasts, blogs, newsletters and more. 

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts
Subscribe on Spotify
Subscribe on Google Podcasts
Listen to past episodes here!

Want to be a guest on the show? Click here to contact Parker about why you should be featured on The Internship Show!

Parker Pell:
Welcome to The Internship Show, where each week we explore the ins and outs of early talent programs at companies of all sizes across the globe. Early talent fuels businesses from startups to the Fortune 500. We're here to provide the information you need to stay informed on all of the amazing opportunities that exist. I'm Parker Pell, and today we chat with Renu and Shelley from LexisNexis Risk Solutions Group.

Parker Pell:
Shelley is the director of employer brand, while Renu is an experienced senior talent acquisition expert, directing the internship and leadership programs of LexisNexis Risk Solutions and its affiliated companies. Previously, she worked at Travelport and British Airways as a senior HR manager and partner. Outside of her work, she volunteers with local senior communities as a therapy dog handler with her puppy, Addie. Shelley and Renu, thanks so much for taking the time and joining the show today.

Shelley:
Thank you.

Parker Pell:
So excited to have you both here to represent LexisNexis Risk Solutions Group. And first, Shelley, I want to dive into your role at the company and what's your background at the company right now?

Shelley:
Sure. Again, thanks for having me. This is a really exciting opportunity. I'm responsible for our employer brand at LexisNexis Risk Solutions Group. Risk solutions is a part of that group and that consists of a portfolio of about eight brands with over 8,700 employees. And overall, we provide information-based analytics, tools, and services to all of our customers. I'm really proud of the work that we've been doing around our employer brand, the work that our employees do every day.

Shelley:
We're here to talk about our employee value proposition, but more importantly about a lot of the work that Renu has been doing when it comes to our internship programs and kind of bringing those values to life.

Parker Pell:
And I would love just briefly, what is the kind of purpose and value of that employer branding proposition? And does it trickle down from top-down internally, as well as externally facing?

Shelley:
Absolutely. So one of the key strategies that we built in when we launched, or actually before we launched our employee value proposition, there was no employment brand function. It was created last year when I joined the company, and there were two things that we really needed to do. One, we needed to do something that was strategic, meaning that it touched on all of the employee experience and not just attraction, but also how we really integrate our values and culture all the way through the employees experience.

Shelley:
And the other thing is that we really wanted to make sure that we were authentic to who we are. So as I mentioned, RSG or Risk Solutions Group or LexisNexis Risk Solutions Group is a portfolio of eight different brands. And so each of those brands have their own unique positioning statements and all of that work that we've done kind of to reflect that came from all the research and analytics that we did to support that.

Shelley:
We landed with our tagline, which is explore more, and it's really just about the freedom and the opportunity and the trust that we give our employees to kind of seek out creative ways to tackle some of the most complex problems. And we also have a really inspiring call to action that says we're a supportive work environment and we're giving you the tools so that you can do really great work here. And now we're handing the power back to you to explore more. It really is just a trusted partnership.

Shelley:
So if you're an intern and you're looking to work alongside a really truly diverse and innovative team and you'd have the opportunity to not just join through Risk Solutions, which is again one of our brands, but opportunity across the span of our business, then you should definitely consider joining our company.

Parker Pell:
And I would say from my experience in conversations that I'm having again and again, that employer branding proposition is becoming ever more so important as it relates to the early talent interview and selection process all together. Because at the end of the day, students are sitting here and thinking to themselves, "I've got all these opportunities, but how do I make the best decision for my own career path?"

Parker Pell:
And that usually comes down to how does that employer branding proposition align with the values of the student within themselves. Because at the end of the day, that's going to mean that that student can actually drive the mission of the company forward all together. And it's great obviously here that with such a variety of brands that you all have, that it's coherent and it's in there for obviously candidates to get to now.

Shelley:
Yes, absolutely and we live our values. What you see on the external, what you see on the internal, it is the same. We're very authentic to who we are, and that's why it's so important.

Parker Pell:
We're taking the employer branding proposition and directly obviously applying it to early talent, which is right up your wheelhouse. And we're sitting in this environment where early career strategies just kind of completely flipped on their head and are continually going to be ever changing.

Parker Pell:
I'd love to just get your opinion and thoughts on kind of what is the current state of early career strategy look like from top-down, as some schools are going half in person and half virtual. We've lived this virtual life for six months. What is kind of your just opinion on what the current state of early talent looks like right now and kind of where it's going?

Renu:
Hi, Parker. Thanks so much for having me today. It's a pleasure. From my perspective, I think early careers is at a pivotal point as we continue to see millennials come into the workforce, and now they have overtaken the baby boomers as the largest generation in the workforce, but also seeing the influx of generation Z. Both these groups are critical for the diversity of the workforce and will ultimately be the leaders of tomorrow.

Renu:
With that in mind, you should continue to commit to and focus heavily upon early careers. And in light of this, continue to place utmost importance on how their brand is being received on campus, making them and us an employer of choice.

Parker Pell:
It's great because I think we're seeing now more than ever why early career is so important and it's such the foundation of how companies are going to be coming out of the current environment and really propping themselves up for success later on down the line and an emphasis on early career as kind of that foundation and driving force of what the company does and looks like all together is never been so apparent I think, as well as the playing field has never been so level in the sense that in this virtual settings, students regardless of who they know, where they go to school can go online, learn about an employer branding proposition, listen to a podcast, read a blog, and then be able to make that decision for themselves in terms of where they should be applying.

Parker Pell:
As well on the flip side, employers are I feel like a little bit more open to receiving applications and connections from students that they may have not otherwise been talking to or have the opportunity to chat with because everyone's a little bit more on their toes, little bit more agile and trying to figure it out together and be as agile as possible in this environment.

Parker Pell:
I mean, Renu, would you say that virtual recruiting, some semblance of virtual recruiting is going to be kind of a cornerstone of recruiting strategies and early career strategies going forward in some capacity?

Renu:
I would like to suggest yes certainly in some form, as we will continue to learn from all four virtual experiences. And hopefully we will take forward with us the great pieces that have been successful, not only from us as the employer's perspective, but also take some time to hear the feedback from career services and also the student's perspective. I think we can all agree that the virtual recruiting proposition by itself is by no means a replacement for in-person

Parker Pell:
Without question, there's going to be a balancing act altogether on everyone's side. And it's going to take efforts from the schools, as well as the employers and the students to kind of complete that loop and circulate it so that everyone knows going forward kind of what that strategy looks like, everyone can take advantage of the opportunities is best for them when it's all said and done. And Renu, I'd love to learn a bit about your role at the company.

Parker Pell:
What does that kind of company culture look like and really kind of who is LexisNexis, specifically the Risk Solutions Group that you're a part of?

Renu:
So my role in the organization is I lead early careers on the US side of the Risk Solutions Group, RSG, and that entails a number of programs and bringing individuals into the organization and growing their careers. As we've said all along, this is about bringing in talent into the organization and bringing them towards future leaders positions as we go forward.

Parker Pell:
That's so great. From your experience just in early career all together, I mean, what does it take for you and your team to really kind of be successful in early career and kind of attract the best talent and really be successful just in the program that you all are delivering obviously all together?

Renu:
I think there are a number of things. I think overall it's about creating a brand on campus with students and ensuring that when we are in recruiting processes, that we are the employer of choice. I think the commitment we make across the schools that sit in our communities and the availability of students to reach out and make those connections with us, those are going to be and continue to be invaluable.

Renu:
The full virtual recruiting season has taught us that less and less students are coming out to these virtual events, again, making our proposition increasingly valuable in the student marketplace. So I think the more focus we can commit to, whether it's being on campus virtually or in person as we head into the spring, and the more we can interface and interact with students across the diverse pool of students across schools, that's going to make us successful from a brand proposition.

Parker Pell:
Being strategic from an employer's perspective has been giving clear call to action for a candidate to be able to engage with the recruiting team. The best way that works for the employer is, without question, one of the I think most forgotten, the most valuable thing that students are looking for is actionable items for them to be able to reach out to the recruiter on LinkedIn. Send an email after they've gotten their resume submitted.

Parker Pell:
Those types of things that we can do in this virtual setting I think is a huge part of the candidate experience, which goes directly to delivering that employer branding positive proposition we talked about earlier, Shelley, as it relates to being able to compete and showcase who the company is based on that employer branding proposition all together. And Renu, what is that recruitment process or application process look like for your early career program?

Renu:
Parker, so we began our recruitment process in earnest in the spring coming soon, and we will post all our internship positions on Handshake regardless where they are across the US. Students should then apply to the individual internship position. And please don't apply to all 50 of them. Pick the ones that you are passionate about and you can make yourself stand out against the other candidates. The interview process itself takes place from mid-February and concludes with all offers being extended and accepted by the end of March.

Renu:
We like to catch students before they go off to spring break. All interviews are in person over the telephone and that's even before COVID. The student will meet with the hiring manager over the phone only, not in person, and conduct the interviews in that process. The program itself will start mid-May of 2021 and will run for 10 weeks.

Parker Pell:
With a process that's already kind of been a little bit virtual, doing strictly phone interviews, I'm sure that that adaptation to your current processes is then a little bit more seamless than maybe other companies who have done kind of strictly fully in person interviewing all together. Students are always looking for ways that they can stand out when they're applying to roles, and hopefully they're doing what you said and being purposeful in the roles that they're actually applying for and not just bring their resumes.

Parker Pell:
That the last thing that I ever advocate a student to do. Rene, what could a student do to stand out when they're either talking with your team on an interview or just applying to a role on their Handshake or through your careers page?

Renu:
Excellent question, Parker. Students should really highlight the skills that they're passionate about and how they relate to our company's values and the internship project. For example, tell us what makes you different, right? From our perspective, you may have taken part in community service activities. We, as an organization, are passionate about giving back to our communities and our community focus on a global level.

Renu:
Once a year as an organization, we celebrate a global day of caring, which gives employees across the world the opportunity to kind of tools down and support charities that are important to them. In addition, students may have taken online classes, been enterprising enough to grow their interest in subjects outside of their core curriculum and their major, and they should really focus on sharing how those relate to our business and the internship project requirements.

Parker Pell:
That's great advice. And it sounds so simple, but it's so important for a candidate to be able to go to the careers page and check out the role and tweak their resume as to what the role is actually going to be about, highlight the skills that are most apparent and pertinent to that role, because that's going to at the end of the day make the interview process a little bit more seamless, so that first conversation isn't, "Oh, do you have these skills?"

Parker Pell:
It's, "Oh, I saw you have these skills. How do you see it relating to a role specifically that we're looking to hire you for?" Renu, if a student's fortunate enough to be able to land an internship with your company, what can they expect when they are interning with your all's program in the program?

Renu:
Another great question, Parker. Students can expect, whether they're in person or virtual, an excellent collaborative internship experience, which will provide them with real world work experience and an introduction to the real work environment with a balance between working hard, being successful, growing and upskilling themselves during the 10 weeks, combined with many networking opportunities.

Renu:
We want them to build their networks, build new friendships in a supportive and flexible environment. We want them to have fun, Parker.

Parker Pell:
And I think that networking is such a big word that I think can be thrown around in the students' realm without actually understanding how they should be taking advantage of networking so that it actually helps their professional career. You don't just network to network is one thing I like to say, because students can get lost. They're like, "This is a networking event, and this is great. I'm going to be able to have some food and talk to people and that's about it."

Parker Pell:
But you have to be strategic with how you go about networking specifically in an internship. Renu, what advice would you give to a student that's looking to network successively, pardon, in your internship program?

Renu:
I think the key thing to networking is building those relationships, which are purposeful and add value. I constantly encourage students to be ambitious, to reach out, schedule coffee chats, and to engage in the traditional water cooler introductions that we all know so well. I think following up with LinkedIn, especially now, students, that we are in this virtual time is never been as important as it is now. We have weekly leadership meetings. We have quarterly town halls.

Renu:
I also encourage students to be introduced to other intern's managers and mentors, right? Find out what's happening in other parts of the business. We have employee resource groups, which are on a number of events. We encourage interns to join these events, CARES events, support the community, to name a few, are all great ways to make new connections. And then again, I personally offer to make any introductions to anyone in the organization on their behalf, but they have to ask me to do this for them.

Parker Pell:
That's so great to hear that you have the back of any early career candidate. Obviously they're coming in for those introductions. And I love that you said it's about building those relationships and knowing how to go about building those relationships can sometimes be scary for students, but it's as simple as having a few baseline questions that you can ask someone, whether it's about their role, what their experience is like at the company, and how they interact with early career talent, just basic things that can break the ice.

Parker Pell:
But at the same time, those icebreakers can go a long way if you're an early career candidate going to maybe a senior level or executive vice-president and saying, "Hey, here's who I am. Here's my one question that I have for you." That can really make you stand out all together and I think go directly to your point as to it's all about building those relationships and going about it in a strategic manner and taking advantage of the opportunities that your team is giving them through this internship.

Parker Pell:
What would you say is really kind of making your program and your internship program, Renu, so successful?

Renu:
Another great question. I think this program's success is based on the overall team effort. There are so many people who are involved from the beginning of the program all the way through to the end. And I think we just have people who are passionate about early careers talent and making them successful during their time with us, from the team that allocates the space to the managers and mentors who provide excellent mentorship and guidance share their personal journeys and experiences, to the executive leaders who not only support the program, but believe and see the value of the interns year on year through their final presentations and readouts.

Renu:
And there are just so many others. It takes a village, and we have a great one, which is a true reflection of our culture and brand.

Parker Pell:
And you mentioned that students are going to be obviously working through the summer on projects and presentations and leads me directly into the internship as one component, and then it's about what are some of the takeaways that your team, Renu, is really hoping that an intern leaves your program with when it's all said and done?

Renu:
I think this is a key point for the intern, what did they achieve during the summer with us? So I think for me, it would be understanding what we do as a business feel and be part of our employer brand, understand our core values and really have them resonate with them. We're trying to give them a real introduction to the world of work, with increased ability to have real world skills.

Renu:
And then every year, interns tell me year on year they learn more with us in the 10 weeks than they do during a semester at school. Friendships are critical, whether it's amongst other interns. And again, we hope that they leave us having had some fun and would openly represent us as campus ambassadors at the future upcoming careers fairs would their peers.

Parker Pell:
Designing and structuring an internship experience that has the student's end goal at the end of it, with everything that you're delivering from the opportunities to network, to the lunch and learns, to just the day-to-day work is what I would say is the most valuable component to any successful internship experience. We hear from talking to both of you today that LexisNexis Risk Solutions Group in particular is all about developing the students in a nutshell.

Parker Pell:
And it's been so great to learn about the program and the ins and outs and get all those inside details that we'd love to get on The Internship Show. Is there anything else from either of you or closing remarks that you would want to make sure that we hit home about the company or your just program in general?

Renu:
Sure, Parker. I'll close out with saying thank you for having us here today. It's been our pleasure. I'm looking forward to another successful summer internship program. Interested students out there, reach out and connect with me on LinkedIn. If you're an innovative and adaptable student and wanting to be part of an inclusive team, we look forward to you applying for the internships in the spring, and I look forward to meeting you next year when the program begins May 2021.

Renu:
And in close, I would like to end with a call to action to the students. Reach out and let me know on LinkedIn what you think are some of the three or four core employer brand values that I've highlighted here today and we'll enter you into a raffle. You should win an Amazon gift card. Thank you so much, Parker.

Shelley:
I just want to drop in really quickly. We have a brand new career site. So I just want to make you guys aware of kind of where to go to find out more about our company, our individual brands, all of the things that we've covered here, so risk.lexisnexis.com/group. That is our corporate site. I just invite you to check out what we have to offer. I think you'll really love it, and thank you so much for having us again.

Parker Pell:
Of course. It's been so great speaking to both of you, and we appreciate the time that you both took today.

Parker Pell:
What a great conversation with Renu and Shelley from LexisNexis Risk Solutions Group, who gave us some awesome insight into their company culture, internship program, and how they provide a platform for networking for all of their interns. If you're listening to this on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, we'd love for you to leave a rating or review on the show. If you want to learn more about the companies we're talking to, go and check out our website, theinternshipshow.com. This episode was brought to you by Scholars.

Parker Pell:
Scholars amplifies top employer brands to an audience of students from across the country through podcasts, blogs, newsletters, and more. Make sure to tune in next time to The Internship Show and have a great day.