Bel Air, Md. -- Specialty flooring distributor Spartan Surfaces is taking an active role in generating the next generation of flooring professionals through its intern program. This past summer the company had seven interns working across several departments, including accounting, human resources, customer services, samples, marketing and sales, and the warehouse. Spartan gains many benefits from hiring interns.

“It brings a fresh perspective to the office while providing insight into the mindset of a younger generation,” said Nelson White, vice president corporate development. “From a workflow perspective, bringing in this temporary talent often allows us to tackle projects that fell to the backburner. Long term we have had great success in having interns come back for multiple years and in some cases come to us full time after graduation.”

So far, two interns have transitioned into full-time employees. Collin Keating, an intern who spent two summers learning the ins and outs of customer service, joined Spartan just weeks after graduating from the University of South Carolina. He is working alongside customer service representatives Mike Lavrich and Ben Garback to provide customer service to clients in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. Two-year sales and marketing intern Mike Boyko joined Spartan last summer in a business development position after graduating from Salisbury University.

“We hope their time here gives them insight into what they enjoy doing and what they dislike doing,” said Meredith Nicholson, vice president, marketing. “It’s hard, as a new graduate to pinpoint what career path will be most satisfying. We want to expose them to different aspects so they can evaluate and move forward in the direction that best suits their interests and skills.”

“The flooring industry is not typically among a college students’ idea of an internship,” White added. “In many cases, unless a family member is in the industry or they know someone working locally for Spartan, they would not seek out a career in flooring. Overall, our industry is always in need of fresh talent and interns represent the next wave of business people who can apply their education to this field. Even if they didn’t originally think of flooring as their dream career, internships provide us the opportunity to show them that it can be. The flooring industry wins when we get young, solid individuals in our companies.”

Zach Long joined Spartan last year as an accounting intern. Long’s internal advocate Adam Gable, CFO, worked with him to identify what he wanted to pursue in accounting after graduation. Long was interested in auditing, so Gable arranged an interview for him with RSM. Gable sent his resume along and, after interviewing, Long was offered a position with RSM. Long has since graduated, but is interning with Spartan now until his full-time position starts in November.

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