Building Tomorrow’s Workforce through the Noblis Internship Program

With the Noblis Internship Program going strong year after year, we spoke with Noblis ESI solutions architect Glen Ledeboer, who completed his fifth year working with our interns in 2023. We wanted to understand more about the value of the program from someone who has seen it up close.

What makes Noblis’ intern program unique?

My previous employers didn’t have an established intern program, so in some ways it’s unique because it exists. Moreover, it’s an established, dynamic program that offers important benefits to both sides. Noblis gets a chance to conduct what is essentially a 10-week, hands-on interview with a prospective employee and the interns get to see what real-life work is about. I like that I can help them see their work through the lens of the Noblis culture and values, and I can pass along some of the tools that have carried me through 43 years of work experience.

What sorts of challenges do you face hosting an intern?

Every intern brings different challenges. Most of my interns have been undergrads with two or three years of academic experience but little real-world experience. I try to help these interns apply their classroom experience to the real world – partly to see that the real world is different. Others come in with some experience, but it’s still limited so our work together needs to remain on a more basic level to benefit both them and Noblis. Contrast that with my most recent intern who was halfway through his master’s program. With him, I was able to focus on very specific programmatic activities that applied directly to his work assignments.

What has changed in five years of working with interns?

One of the biggest changes was the COVID-19 pandemic and the abrupt shift to working from home. As someone who had never worked remotely, it forced me to change my mentoring style, which was a good thing—I had to adapt and evolve. Rather than use a whiteboard in a conference room, we had to figure out how to share ideas in real time over virtual video calls. It was harder for me to read body language, so I ended up paying more attention to the tone of the answers. The positive side is that remote mentoring allowed me to work with a qualified intern located in another state – something I never would have been able to do before – and to have an intern during the height of the pandemic. On the negative side, it was very hard to share special treats like doughnuts or lunch! I still prefer to meet in person, when possible, given the short amount of time we have with our interns, but we proved that remote sessions can work and be beneficial to all parties.

How do you convey Noblis culture and values to new interns?

I focus on modeling the Noblis culture and values, so I treat the interns with respect and learn from them even as they are learning from me. I also work to convey ethical values when discussing their work projects and interactions with bosses and co-workers. Finally, I provide input to help the intern develop innovative and efficient solutions to their work challenges, but I don’t just jump to “Well here’s what I think you should do…”

What do the interns bring to the program?

I am impressed by the quality of the interns I have been privileged to work with at Noblis. They bring energy, new techniques and perspectives, a can-do attitude and a set of highly technical skills that outmatch me by leaps and bounds. Working with the interns keeps my perspective fresh, and I can honestly say I have learned from each one of them.

What do the interns take away from their experience at Noblis?

For some of them, job offers! But in all seriousness, I try to convey three big ideas to the interns. First, I want them to see that there are different ways to approach hard problems on the job and work toward making the right decision. Second, I want them to work on the best ways to present results effectively and efficiently, to convey their approach, analysis and conclusions. And third, I like them to practice important presentation skills to become more persuasive presenters to share their results.

What advice would you give to a colleague considering hosting an intern on their team?

Get to know your intern and what they want to achieve and learn. Approach the relationship with optimism – you have something to offer that will enrich the life of your intern. Look for ways to convey your hard-earned lessons and apply them to your intern’s specific situation.

Are you looking for intern opportunities? Re-imagine your spark at Noblis.

If you are an undergraduate, Master’s, or Ph.D. student looking for competitive pay, valuable real-world experience and the ability to apply your coursework, Noblis is the place for you. Learn more about our Summer Program and find opportunities at