Associated Grocers hosted two interns, Dev Hamilton and Henry LeBeuf this summer through a six-week program sponsored by East Baton Rouge Parish Schools Pathways to Bright Futures. The program aims to give high school seniors access to college careers and industry-based exposure through an internship in today’s workforce with a wage upon 155-hour completion.

For Lisa Verret, Talent Acquisition and Retention Manager this partnership was a great way to showcase Associated Grocers. “Both Dev and Henry were able to see the company through a wide lens and receive entry-level exposure to the variety of services that we offer to the independent retailer. Throughout their time here, they’ve been able to interact with all departments to gain an understanding of the company.”

Hamilton, who worked at Associated Grocers retailer, Calandro’s for a small period, didn’t know what to expect when he came to AG. “I came focused on wanting to work within the Accounting Department, but for me, this was an eye-opening experience.” He was able to spend time with the Customer Service team where he got to connect with many of the internal teams and interact with retailers, rather than solo work with multiple processes.

Shelby Scheuermann, Talent Acquisition Specialist, served as the point of contact and mentor to the interns and didn’t pause when a positioning shift needed to occur. “I loved being able to schedule them with different teams and get them to the areas where they seemed to thrive. A program such as this helps reach the right demographic of students who are eager to get exposure in real-world practices.”

Those practices helped guide LeBeuf, who came to Associated Grocers, unsure of what career path he wanted to take. “Everyone at AG was so open with us. We had a choice to see what we liked to do, and people here were willing to teach us. This internship gave us access and I feel it has opened doors for us.”

Both Hamilton and LeBeuf ‘grew into their roles at AG’, as Chad Tucker, Loss Prevention Manager shared. “Seeing them grow throughout this process was great. Initially, they were unsure, now, they’re not afraid. They stepped up and came out of their shells.” It is the ‘every day is different’ aspect that mostly intrigued the students. With Tucker, they assisted with tasks that he said, “helped them explore what AG is all about”, through risk management job duties such as investigations, camera work, security detail, and access controls. However, it is many of the personal touches such as the Cornhole Tournament event, that are sure to leave a lasting impression.  “Cornhole was great,” LeBeuf said. “The food, entertainment, and employees coming together. It’s a nice way to show employees you care, and it is something to look forward to. I always thought work was just a way of existing but it’s not like that here at AG. It’s important to live. My experience has been that AG is not just a workplace, it’s a community.”

Hamilton gives the program high marks and is thankful a program such as this is available to public school students. “This workforce opportunity has helped provide a foundation for me early on. I wouldn’t have had the chance to experience this until college, and I’m grateful for it.”

Dev Hamilton is a student at Baton Rouge High and Henry LeBeuf is a student at Istrouma High School.

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