Despite the pandemic and subsequent recession that prompted many companies around the country to cancel their internship programs, one prominent D.C. company is still hosting its eight-week summer program, welcoming 137 virtual interns this year.
Known officially as the Federal National Mortgage Association, Fannie Mae, based on the 1100 block of 15th Street NW in D.C., is the government-sponsored enterprise and mortgage lender that promotes home ownership. The company’s summer interns work across various teams, including roles in software engineering, data analytics and business operations, while others are placed in corporate functions such as marketing, legal, finance and human resources, Teresa Green, Fannie Mae’s VP of talent acquisition programs, told Technical.ly.
College students participating in the program can expect to gain the skills to pursue a career in housing through training, resources and networking opportunities, she said.
“Fannie Mae is fully operational and open for business, and our ability to serve our customers and support the market is of paramount importance,” Green said. “We have required all, except for a small number of employees deemed critical, to work from home since mid-March.”
Interns work approximately 37.5 hours a week, with overtime available. They are paid hourly on a biweekly basis and received a payment to help with summer housing and commuting costs, even though the program is virtual.
“Many families had already invested in lodging and/or travel costs in preparation for their students’ upcoming summer internship,” Green said. “We wanted to honor our commitment to aid with housing and commuting to help offset the costs families had already incurred, under the expectation that we would cover a portion.”
Green said the enterprise secured its intern class from a wide range of colleges and universities, including relationships with institutions in the D.C. region. She said Fannie Mae also selects interns from current employee referrals.
With a full suite of digital technologies, Fannie Mae was able to quickly pivot to a virtual internship program. Interns are using the enterprise’s desktop-as-a-service offering, which gives them access to Fannie Mae’s systems using their own computers. Green said Fannie Mae is still hosting aspects of its in-person program virtually, including an executive speaker series, mentorship and community service opportunities.
As far as communication, Fannie Mae is collaborating with its interns using Microsoft Teams and Whiteboard, Cisco WebEx, Yammer and email.
“Our internship program is a pipeline for entry-level hires. We strive to ensure that interns feel included in the Fannie Mae family,” Green said. “When our company announced ‘summer Fridays’ in recognition of our team’s incredibly great work during COVID-19, we extended that same perk to our interns.”
Green said the company has also adapted its hiring processes to best safeguard its employees, candidates and new hires as it expands its team through the pandemic.
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