Benefits and Drawbacks of Altria’s Intern Orientation

After one week of working at Altria, one concept, in particular, was made extremely clear about the organization, and that is the emphasis the company puts on developing their employees, especially new hires. It is clear that they view each employee and intern as an investment for the future of the company. In return, though, Altria also expects employees to encompass the values the company upholds, most notably its emphasis on quality of work.

From the start, Altria provided each of the new interns a variety of materials to help us learn about the company comfortably and efficiently with the expectation that we will be able to pay back their investment in us with our work. Food, housing, transportation, online courses, and office supplies, amongst others, were provided to us day one, but our assigned managers also provided us with a significant amount of meaningful work that will definitely prove to be a challenge. The belief, it seems, is that if Altria provides the interns and new hires with what they need and desire, they will complete work with higher quality and drive. While in theory, this makes sense, there are some drawbacks that I have noticed within the first couple of days. While I am driven to do the best work possible, there is no “buffer period” to help the interns settle in. Altria clearly expects stellar work right off the bat. I have found it difficult, especially within the first week, to begin working on my assigned projects without clear direction or time to get accustomed to the company. This is a challenge that I was not fully prepared initially to work through. As the first week continued, I began to get more comfortable in my role, but I believe that I would have been more comfortable and more able to work on the projects I was assigned more efficiently if more time was allowed for new interns and hires to ease into their roles.

The current employees have been extremely helpful and open to answering every and all questions and this intern program has been run similarly in previous years. From what it seems, this way of preparation must work out in the end, but from the perspective of an intern, I have been unable to complete my work as effectively as I can since I have been spending a good portion of my energy into growing accustomed with the company, how it operates, and what is expected of me. This is a challenge I am excited to face head-on in the coming weeks, but I believe that if leadership within the company was more attentive to the initial needs of its new employees, the quality of work that is expected will significantly increase right off the bat. Perhaps suggesting that intern managers spend an extra day with new hires to answer all questions and help the interns grow accustomed to Altria and its culture will aid in the development of Altria’s employees and improve quality of work. Otherwise, I believe the value that is placed on supporting new interns and a culture of open communication and help create a great environment for fast learning and worker development, and I am excited to continue working.


One thought on “Benefits and Drawbacks of Altria’s Intern Orientation

  • June 18, 2019 at 11:28 am

    Having had many interns (and graduates in full time positions) at Altria, I do think it will work out; they’ve all had great experiences. Sounds like they do a lot of on-boarding, but perhaps not enough specific to the nature of the work, the processes they use and/or the way they go about work? Perhaps there will be an opportunity to provide feedback at some point, or perhaps you can make an opportunity to provide feedback? Seems that introduction to organization is both formal and informal; will be interested to learn more about their communication.

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