Late this summer, 2400 undergraduates will embark on a week-long journey to the most effective "living classroom" on Earth: Disney World. There, the students will encounter a host of cartoon animals in the flesh—a terrifying prospect indeed for any youthful babe. But fear not, for they will also be chaperoned by more than 80 partners from PricewaterhouseCoopers. What is this strange confluence of students, businessmen and hyperkinetic rodents, you ask? Why, it's PwC's Intern Development Program (IDP) of course!
In the firm's own words, the IDP is "the firm's signature experience for prospective hires interested in a career with PwC." Basically, here's how it works: the program is open to any PwC intern who gets a job offer by the end of their internship. (In that sense it's kind of like new hire training, except you don't get paid.) Those that accept are swept off to Disney in August, where they'll be "immersed in an experiential-based curriculum, which includes professional insights, learning, leadership training skills and personal enrichment sessions."
Current interns can only hope that "leadership training" involves a PwC partner riding the first car down Splash Mountain, blazing a trail for the new hires to follow.
Interns also "have the opportunity to connect one-on-one with PwC partners," an opportunity that will have early career-schemers salivating at the chance to get ahead before the job has even started. 2400 of your fellow interns also make for good networking, and it never hurts to head into an entry-level job flanked by allies and new friends.
All in all, PwC is trying to package the IDP as a fun and educational experience in equal measure. "This is a high energy, unforgettable experience that helps prepare interns for their full-time career," said Paula Loop, PwC's global talent leader. "We emphasize the importance of individual contributions to the entire team and how the skills taught at each phase help them advance through the challenges."
Once again, interns can only hope that any lesson involving the importance of "individual contributions to the entire team" is in fact a complex placeholder scheme that sees but one PwC underling wait in line for Thunder Mountain Railroad on behalf of the entire IDP family.
Best yet, PwC says that it plans to hire a solid 10,000 people in the US alone in 2011 (a 60 percent increase from 2010); 6,000 of these hires will hail from college campuses.
Takeaway: get cracking on those internship applications if you want to go to Disney on PwC's dime.
For more information:
Press Release: PwC Relaunches Intern Development Program
PwC's Internship Experience
Photo: Itsuo Inouye, AP