Our future is now: Investing in the success of Gen Z

By 2025, Gen Z will make up about 27% of the workforce. And when it comes to new job opportunities, nearly 80% of those who fall into this age category primarily look for a culture fit with employers as a priority, followed by career potential. For the last 10 years, early career development programs have been an important focus area for Epsilon. Leadership sees this investment as a way to create opportunities for young careerists to gain tangible company exposure, learn a transferable professional skillset, and gain insight on their personal interests, strengths and weaknesses.

As a rising senior at Indiana University and part of Epsilon’s 2022 intern program, I wanted to better understand Epsilon’s approach to early career development, so I sat down with Epsilon’s Ric Elert, Chief Operating Officer and Lauren Kent, Director of Campus Recruiting.

At Epsilon, early career talent development opportunities are offered through an Internship program and a New Grad program – both are essential to the future of the company and help the organization keep up with the everchanging state of business.

“Early career programs are an extremely valuable and renewable resource for us here at Epsilon because they are the future of our culture” -Ric Elert

Upon discovering Epsilon, I was immediately captivated by their passion for people and the emphasis placed on mental and physical well-being. These observations were what motivated me to apply for the Internship program in the first place and now, as I reach my last days here, I can confidently say that these values hold true. I feel fortunate to have spent my summer at Epsilon where both my personal and professional development were a priority.

Epsilon’s Internship Program

The Internship program gives students a perspective on Epsilon while also providing professional development training and networking opportunities. The annual program starts in June with a large class of students (there’s 80 of us this year!) from across the U.S. and ends in mid-August. Interns are assigned to a specific team with a manager and mentor to help guide them during their time at Epsilon. During the 11 weeks, interns attend required training, work on team-specific projects, sit in on meetings, and network with people in their department. Ultimately, the goal of the Internship program is to equip students with the tools and skills they need to start their careers. For many, this may mean smoothly transitioning into Epsilon’s New Grad program after graduation.

As a member of the current intern class, I’ve found my experience to be extremely enriching and insightful. Everyone I’ve interacted with has been friendly and welcoming, and the work I’m doing feels purposeful. What I believe sets Epsilon’s Internship program apart from others is its commitment to inclusivity. I’ve had the opportunity to help with campaigns and projects, chat with industry leaders, create my own original content, and even travel across the country to another office location. I was happy to hear that my feelings are reciprocated among interns in other departments as well.

“One of my favorite parts about the internship program is how involved you feel instantly. Right from the start of the program, I was exposed to all the meetings, projects, content, and people as if I had already been working with my team. Everyone was inclusive and incredibly helpful in helping me understand as much as there was to know about my role and much more at Epsilon” -Josh Oliveros, Software Engineer Intern

Epsilon’s New Grad Program

Epsilon also offers a New Grad program that is designed for recent college graduates to help ease the transition from college to corporate. New grad individuals are part of the program for about 2 years. The first 8 weeks is an accelerated, deep-dive onboarding with many hours dedicated to training and networking. Overall, the first year itself is meant to get new grad hires up to speed with company knowledge and provide them with professional development opportunities. Year two is when the new grads settle deeper into their roles and begin to take on more responsibility. Throughout the entire program, mentors, and managers (as well as members of the early careers team) check in with the new grads to make sure they feel secure in their role and are set up for success.

“One of the most rewarding parts of my job is seeing our early careerists grow within the organization and cheering them on as they continue to advance in their career” -Lauren Kent, Director of Campus Recruiting & Programs

As an intern, I have an assigned new grad mentor to help guide me throughout my summer at Epsilon. My mentor has been a tremendous help in answering any questions I have had and happily provided some insight on her experience in the New Grad program.

“I appreciate the training support and projects that were provided to get us acclimated to the business in the beginning and gave us the opportunity to foster relationships with fellow New Grads and people in areas of the business we may not have otherwise touched in our day to day. My experience has been unique, since I’m in a rotational marketing program, which has given me the chance to experience the breadth of marketing coming from undergrad–ranging from analytical to creative.” -Nicole Shahid, Associate Marketing Manager

A Unique Philosophy & Approach to Early Career Development

My time here has shown me that Epsilon truly believes the future of the company is centered on its people and that immersive training experiences for young talent are crucial for continued success. Most of all, they care about their employees and helping them find purpose in their careers. The goal is that through the Internship and/or the 2-year New Grad program, individuals will discover what they like to do, what they want to do, and choose to grow their career at Epsilon. Interested in joining Epsilon? View our open positions here.