“Most of the time, interns are assigned hyper-focused tasks,” said Caitlin Wunsch, project environmental scientist, FuGen intern engagement lead, and intern buddy. “The XCEL Team Challenge asks the interns to think of their roles in their careers more holistically.”
The XCEL Internship Team Challenge is a project focused on collaboration and innovation that provides our interns with the opportunity to build knowledge and envision the future. Intern teams are assigned, then the team is responsible for choosing a presentation topic that is inspired by an existing project or client, an industry trend, or a challenge facing our society. A Team Advisor is assigned from a respective Business Line to inform the team’s understanding of Gannett Fleming’s multi-disciplined offerings and provide direction as needed.
“It is the team’s job to treat the XCEL Team Challenge like a real-world project; the interns must communicate with each other, collaborate with their Team Advisor, come up with a presentation topic and style, and demonstrate their understanding of the ‘big picture’ by following a list of criteria,” said Wunsch. “The interns benefit significantly from learning this concept early so that they have an understanding of why certain tasks are required of them and how it all plays into Gannett Fleming’s vision and mission.”
Participation from all team members is required, but each member is encouraged to play to their individual strengths; if someone is a great presenter, they should take the lead speaking, whereas if someone is a great planner, they might choose to develop the outline the team should follow and hold each member accountable. This challenge is an opportunity to collaborate and engage with others, but it’s also an opportunity to have fun! The final projects are judged at the end of the summer by a panel, and the winning team receives a prize.