Protiviti's 2010 Internship Kicks Off with Innovative Approach to Teaching Real-World Business Lessons

Intern Challenge training program focuses on simulations, light on lectures

Jun 14, 2010, 13:00 ET from Protiviti

MENLO PARK, Calif., June 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2010 intern class at Protiviti (, a global business consulting and internal audit firm, won't spend their orientation listening to presentations and taking notes. Instead, through the firm's new Intern Challenge program, students will kick off their Protiviti internship with a week of business simulations designed to enable them to sample the work environment and industry they're preparing to enter.


"Traditional approaches to training don't resonate as well with current college students," said Scott Redfearn, vice president of HR for Protiviti. "We spent time listening to feedback from past interns and conducting research to understand evolving learning needs and learning styles. Those findings helped us shape Protiviti's new Intern Challenge, which we've built to be a very interactive, personal experience."  

Starting today, the Intern Challenge is the first week of an eight-week internship program designed to give students the foundation they need to be successful not only in their internships with Protiviti, but also in their future careers. Built around a series of business simulations, the program also includes meetings and social activities with Protiviti's leadership team and small group discussions.

"The simulation approach gives our interns a taste of real-life situations, which are not always predictable," said Elaine Poucher, national recruiting lead, Protiviti. "It creates an edge and sense of accountability, and establishes the expectation that interns need to think on their feet in the workplace."

The minute they enter the room on day one, Protiviti Intern Challenge participants are placed in a facilitator-led simulation with five to seven of their peers. Simulations reflect situations interns will likely encounter in their career and give them an opportunity to learn how to handle these scenarios by actually working through them. For example, in the morning the interns might have to respond to a potential client crisis, and in the afternoon they could be meeting with that sample client's chief financial officer.

In addition to teaching business skills, the simulations are also designed to help students hone critical soft skills such as client communication or sales presentation. And unlike conventional training where participants receive workbooks or guides that often aren't used again, Protiviti's interns only receive job aids and a schedule of activities.

"Studies have shown that people retain up to 90 percent of the information they receive during a simulation," Poucher said.  "We recently began using this technique as part of our new hire orientation, with great results, and think it will really enhance the training experience for our interns as well."

More than 60 students, primarily accounting and finance majors, will participate in Protiviti's Intern Challenge, which takes place from June 14 -18 in Orlando.  Following the Intern Challenge, students will work at Protiviti offices across the United States through August 6.  

About Protiviti

Protiviti is a global business consulting and internal audit firm composed of experts specializing in risk, advisory and transaction services. The firm helps solve problems in finance and transactions, operations, technology, litigation, governance, risk, and compliance. Protiviti's highly trained, results-oriented professionals provide a unique perspective on a wide range of critical business issues for clients in the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Middle East.

Protiviti has more than 60 locations worldwide and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Robert Half International Inc. (NYSE: RHI). Founded in 1948, Robert Half International is a member of the S&P 500 index.

Protiviti is not licensed or registered as a public accounting firm and does not issue opinions on financial statements or offer attestation services.

SOURCE Protiviti