Training & Development in 48 Degree Heat

Long gone are the days where the interns fetch the coffee

Hello all,

Thanks again for taking the time to read my blog. With this I hope to not only update my family and friends on my current whereabouts and activities but to also explain to future potential Scholars what to expect from taking an internship with Fender Musical Instruments Corporation.

Having just entered week 5 of the internship, I’ve really settled into the company and met so many interesting people. My manager Susan and the whole HR team have done a fantastic job in welcoming me into the company, even taking me for drinks with the some of the executive team.

My internship was supposed to be based solely on the training and development area of HR. However, over the weeks this has changed and become so much more. Besides my research into training programs to help develop such areas as leadership skills and presentation skills, I have been involved in interviews for the recruitment team. My first taste of this was when I was “sitting in” on one of the interviews. The interviewee asked a question to the team to which one of the interviewers replied “I think Colin would be the best to answer that question”, to much amusement of the entire room as my face went bright red, trying to ready myself to answer a question on Fender’s organisational culture after having only been in the company for a few days. After the interview took place, the team thought it would be really beneficial, and probably a bit of a laugh, if I was to be placed on the recruiting panel. Having attended and participated in two more interviews now, it has been an amazing experience to sit at a board room table the length of a bowling alley asking questions to the next potential employees of Fender. With recruitment and selection being such a significant part of my degree, it has been so beneficial to practice in such an extraordinary setting.

In addition to this, I helped the IT team in updating a guide for their new dealer portal which would show buyers how to use the website. At first I thought this would be a breeze, but it turned out my Microsoft Word skills were not as strong as anticipated. Much googling later and I managed to produce an updated and consistent guide for the team. This drastically increased my Microsoft Office Skills and it just adds to the ever growing pool of benefits this internship is having on me.

My main project is now underway where I am to consolidate all the job descriptions for the company into a standardised format. This has proven quite a challenge but there is always someone nearby willing to help the “Scottish guy”. I will soon be working on putting this into a presentation for managers, directors and executives on completion of the internship. 

In addition to this, the other interns and myself were flown to Corona in California to take a tour of Fender’s manufacturing plant, which I can only describe as amazing. On walking into the factory we were shown planks of wood and on exiting we were shown people testing the products by playing various music styles from Metal to Blues. From here, I sat down with other members from the HR team from the LA office and the Corona facility and had the opportunity to ask them questions about their roles and the challenges they faced in managing staff cross-culturally and remotely.

I have been invited back out to Corona for the yearly HR summit next week where I will have the opportunity to meet members of the HR team from all over the world which will give me a great insight into how the organisation functions globally. With studying International Business Management, this is an invaluable opportunity to put my degree to good use and network with contacts that could prove vital in my career.

To sum up, every day I am challenged in my work and as a result, I’m constantly improving all the skills required for a professional environment. I meet new people at the peak of their careers, all extremely passionate about Fender and always giving me advice. Long gone are the days where the interns fetch the coffee and replace the toilet paper - although today I did finally find out how to replenish the coffee machine…

All the best,