Greater Cleveland Partnership and Cleveland State University held the 2020 Cleveland Internship Summit on February 27th to bring together business community representatives and educators to discuss how to increase and improve internship opportunities throughout Northeast Ohio through a range of panels and conversations.
When Jeff LeBeau started working at WRL Advertising in 2006, he was an intern who was attending the University of Akron. Today, he’s the company’s president.
Upon graduation, he joined the WRL team full time as an account executive. After five years, he worked his way up to the Director of New Business Development and Vice President of Sales and Marketing before officially purchasing the company and becoming President in 2015.
When given the choice to either spend his senior year spring break in Panama City Beach, Florida or at WRL’s office, LeBeau chose to make a decision that would change his career forever, spring break at WRL. LeBeau mentioned that although this situation wasn’t ideal, it paid off while also teaching him important qualities about being a leader, such as how important flexibility is at the workplace.
LeBeau, not only discussed what his experience was like becoming an intern at WRL and transitioning into a full-time position, but also how WRL shapes its internship program. Current interns, Kayla Proctor and Kevin Stillwell offered insight on their experience for LeBeau to share as well as current employees Tracy Aleman and Jeremy Fish, who were also once WRL interns turned full-time employees.
“I knew WRL was where I was supposed to be on the first day that I stepped into the creative department years ago,” Fish said. “The vibe was warm and the staff and leadership were incredibly welcoming.”
LeBeau also offered advice for building a strong internship program, such as making it educational, challenging and with a clear vision of the ultimate goal.