When interns begin a programme within a company or organisation, their expectations can be low. But what if they got more out of it than deeper expertise in coffee-making?

Some internships offer little more than a foot in the door and a lot of experience fetching the proverbial coffee.

At Aon Centre for Innovation and Analytics (ACIA), however, it goes a little deeper. Every year, ACIA interns take part in the CEO Challenge, designed to give them hands-on experience of the real work done by full-time employees at the company.

Giving interns a taste of the juggling, strategy and collaboration involved in a real-world project, the Challenge allows them to create a product that is actually used within the organisation.

According to Cristian Varela, senior data architect at ACIA, “The interns experience what working in a real corporate environment will feel like.”

Words by Kirsty Tobin