In a labor market oversaturated with shiny technology companies, start-ups, and big-name brands, the steel business isn't on the radar for many college students and recent graduates. We've seen similar attitudes towards industries like plastics and banking: While there's no shortage of exciting early-career opportunities in these spaces, they might not be the first industries that Career Launchers gravitate towards.
A recent article on the stereotypes around the steel sector explains,
"The perception of what working in the steel industry is like, dirty and unclean, could marry with the idea that only a certain type of person works in manufacturing...The process of steel-making hasn’t changed, but the business as a whole are becoming increasingly digitally-driven and sustainable."
To learn more about early-career opportunities in the steel business, we sat down with Neal Dasgupta, Senior Financial Analyst at TMS International, a global corporation that manages the production of steel and supply chain, including buying and selling raw materials to steel mills. To date, Neal has hosted three Micro-Internships with the same student. Scroll on to read more!
Q: First off, tell us about you!
As the Senior Financial Analyst for the Raw Materials and Optimization Group, Neal works on the commercial side of TMS (think sales and steel/scrap brokering).
Q: What intrigued you about the Micro-Internship model?
When Neal was introduced to the concept of Micro-Internships, he identified where his team could use additional support right away. "I think there is a market for folks and companies of all sizes that can use a Micro-Intern," says Neal.
Q: Tell me about your Micro-Internship experiences.
The student Neal hired had everything they were looking for in a Micro-Intern: fresh perspective, new ideas, and exposure to different recruiting platforms and technologies. "We needed some help in recruiting for mid- to entry-level employees," Neal shared. "He introduced us to a different way of approaching a younger demographic."
Q: How would you describe your working relationship with your Micro-Intern?
"Phenomenal" is the first word Neal used in describing the Micro-Intern brought on to support his team. Neal highlights this Micro-Intern's ability to contribute new insights on recruiting, maintain strong attention to detail, and communicate consistently and professionally. "It's like he's an employee of ours," Neal said.
Q: How would you describe the outcome of your Micro-Internship?
For the most successful Micro-Internship outcome, Neal recommends presenting the problem that needs to be addressed and a clear end-goal or deliverable, alongside a firm timeline. In defining clear parameters, both the manager and Micro-Intern are best set up for success.
Q: What kind of impact do you think Micro-Internships have made?
In thinking about the value of Micro-Internships for Career Launchers, Neal relates back to his own college experience. He shared that he would have loved "to get a taste of corporate life...to see what actual work feels like. Being able to get that exposure, I believe, is invaluable."
Q: What advice do you have for companies considering Micro-Internships?
Neal describes Micro-Internships as a "valuable, powerful tool" for creating relationships with ambitious early-career talent. (Read more about the benefits of Micro-Internships here!)
Q: What advice do you have for students and grads considering Micro-Internships?
Neal highlighted "punctuality" and "professionalism" as two key elements he looked for in a Micro-Intern. "If there's something that sets you apart from the next person," don't be afraid to showcase it! For more tips on filling out your profile and completing applications, check out these resources and visit our Career Launcher LinkedIn Group.
Interested in learning how Micro-Internships can help your organization gain exposure to early-career talent? Schedule a time to chat with us!