Axios HR™ : Attract. Retain. Develop.

The True Value Of West Michigan Internships 

(3-5 minute read)

To Shannon Burkel, EVP of Staffing Solutions, Axios HR means opportunity.  Shannon began her career path with Axios HR at 19 years old as a summer intern and had a very positive internship experience, unlike many of her fellow students who had earned internships at other companies at the time.  As a result of empowering and providing support to Shannon every step of the way, almost 20 years later she is just as proud to call Axios HR her “home” as she was on the very first day of her internship.


An internship according to the NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) is “a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skill development in a professional setting.  Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering as career paths, in addition to granting employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent.”  Unfortunately with many companies operating lean, losing the war on talent and lack of planning intern experiences are not always positive, and one similar to Shannon’s experience. 


One effective strategy on winning the war on talent is through internship programs.  Internship programs can help local growing companies develop talent in West MI through real work experience, leadership development and soft skills training.  A well-developed internship program helps West MI students, growing companies and the West MI community as a whole. 


They key to the strategies success is that the program must be well-developed.  An internship program needs to include the following: 


  • Dynamic representation at career fairs 
  • Job description & learning objectives 
  • Professional interview coordination & selection  
  • Professional screening, onboarding & orientation 
  • Valuable & meaningful work experience 
  • Development & training 
  • Social connection to peers & leaders 
  • Performance feedback 
  • Positive affect on company growth 


We too often hear about “internships gone bad”.  The company had good intentions of building an effective and well-developed internship program but business and daily work got in the way of the program’s success. 


Building a top-notch internship program for one or several interns can help your company win the war on talent.  Shannon Burkel started her almost 20 year career with Axios HR as a summer intern.  She recently launched an internship program as a way to give back and say thank you, Talent Hub helps small to mid-sized West MI companies and students.  Attracting and retaining talent is critical to the economic future success of West MI.  Be part of the solution.



December 6, 2018




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