Who are you and what is your role at The ALS Group?
My name is Jessica Aviles, I am the VP of Talent Management at The ALS Group. I was brought on-board almost two and half years ago to manage the existing talent, drive culture and spearhead the internship program. Those are my main responsibilities at ALS.
How do you recruit for an internship?
The ALS Group is an independent risk management and insurance advisory firm that provides unbiased advice to C-level leadership. Therefore, our recruitment process is really much more of a personal experience than that of most companies, where internship candidates can come from anywhere. I primarily recruit from schools that have Risk Management as a top area of study. One of them being Columbia University in Manhattan. I have developed a really strong relationship with the career services team at Columbia which helps me attract candidates and staff consistently.
They have an exceptional Enterprise Risk Management Master’s program that has really helped us fill our internship program with bright young minds. Additionally, for the last 12 months we have been recruiting at Temple University’s Fox Business School in Philadelphia, which also has a great Risk Management program. Every intern who gets accepted into our internship program has some kind of educational background that helps support the work they will be involved in at The ALS Group.
How did the internship program start?
The internship program was born a little bit before I came on board. Our CEO, Albert Sica, met a professor at Columbia University who introduced him to some students who were interested in gaining additional knowledge and experience in the field of Risk Management. That kind of sparked the idea of having an internship program. I was brought in after Albert realized that he needed someone to spearhead and manage this whole process.
How do you connect with students at these schools?
We get invited to career fairs at these schools where we set up a table and have conversations with potential internship candidates. Usually Irina Lendensky, who is our Partner of Strategic Planning and Administration helps support me in the recruitment process and attends these events with me. Together, we manage the non-client facing side of the business.
We do these career fairs not just for interns, but also for full time team members that might be graduating from Risk Management programs and hoping to join the workforce.
What is the goal of the internship program?
The goal the internship is not only to support The ALS Group’s hard working full-time team-members, but to also grow the next generation of leaders in the Risk Management field. We create and support real-life training and education for young minds that are interested in Risk Management & Consulting. We, actually, give them a lot of hands-on experience in the many aspects of Risk Management, which they would never have gotten exposed to elsewhere. We are a small organization, so interns get involved in the day to day activity of many clients coming from different industries like construction, real estate and development, and healthcare, just to name a few.
What does The ALS Group offer to interns?
We definitely offer a unique experience to interns who are accepted into our program. Not only are they learning Risk Management, but they are also networking, gaining contacts in the industry, learning how to manage a client engagement, preparing for meetings, sitting in on real client meetings, and doing follow-ups after those meetings.
Every semester we try to have some kind of project that serves two (2) purposes. The first purpose is to help interns think of risk in a three dimensional way. The other one benefits our clients by continuously helping us improve our processes which will, ultimately, help us service them more efficiently on a day to day basis.
How does The ALS Group “home grow” talent?
“Home grown” talent is when you have someone start at the entry level and learn every function within an organization and expose them to all of the moving parts of the firm from the start. This sets them up for a successful career at The ALS Group. I find that this process is the best way to grow future leaders and experts in Risk Management. For example, we have an Analyst now who came out of our internship program and is doing an amazing job in her role. The foundation of her success came from her education at Columbia University and was put into practice during her time spent in our internship program. She interned for 11 months which gave her an in depth understanding of our firm and our clients. It also gave her a chance to learn our technology platform and databases. She found that being an intern helped her grow and learn without a whole lot of pressure. Interns will always have the opportunity to really experience the work and be able ask questions and develop their knowledge of Risk Management along the way. Seeing interns grow through our process and go on to be exceptional Analysts and Consultants here at The ALS Group is a rewarding experience for me.
Check out our careers page for more information on jobs and internships at The ALS Group.