Do you have a gap in your tech career? Here’s why you should consider a returnship program

A returnship can work for individuals who were away from the workforce for a spell. Do you have a gap in your tech career? Discover what a returnship program can do for you.

Intuit Again returnship interns smiling at the camera
Intuit Again returnship interns smiling at the camera

What is a returnship program?

Returnship programs—short for return internship—are internships for women and other groups who are returning to the workforce after a gap in employment. These programs aim to give people a refresher of the job-ready skills they need for their industry. Employees can return to the job market and hit the ground running like they never left. Intuit’s returnship program launched in 2015 and supports women as a pathway back into the tech workforce after a career break. 

In India, 36 percent of women take a break from work, according to the Center for Talent Innovation. And while they take a career break due to a number of reasons including marriage, motherhood and eldercare, only 58 percent of them are able to rejoin work full-time. There is a dip in the number of women rejoining the workforce because of their gap in work experience, lower pay for dropping out, and outdated skill sets. Companies are working toward solving this problem by launching returnship programs worldwide. 

“Sometimes, both men and women need to take a break from their careers for personal reasons. But, they may be raw in their skills upon returning to the workforce, “ said Mohan Kumar, Senior talent acquisition manager, Intuit India.

Over time, the program has expanded to include returnship programs for moms, other women, and all genders—further aligning with our culture of diversity and inclusion. As the executive sponsor of Intuit Again, Mohan is proud of what the program has accomplished. “While many return internship options are available for women, Intuit Again creates opportunities for all,” says Mohan, “ The program helps individuals pick up from where they left off and prepare for a new career.”

Three benefits of a returnship program

If there’s a gap in employment on your resume, here are three benefits returnship programs can provide you before re-entering the job market. 

1. Develop new skills

A successful return internship program should provide critical work and opportunities to benefit interns. Participants should be able to learn and perform meaningful work that allows them to build their experience, adding value to their resume. 

For example, Intuit Again provides meaningful opportunities for interns to develop new skills. Program attendees train in the team’s everyday activities and participate in projects as part of the team’s existing work.  As a result, they have a fundamental understanding of the products, learn what’s new in tech, how to design end-to-end systems and may have opportunities to work on product features for customers.

Members of the program learn to be customer obsessed. “We help them think about those for whom they design. Techniques like Design for Delight and Customer Driven Innovation help them identify unsolved customer problems, and build durable competitive advantage for our products,” says Mohan.  

“Our interns receive constructive feedback from managers about their performance at work. Providing interns with consistent feedback during the 6-month internship can drive them to learn and perform better,” says Kirti Chablani, recruiter. The Intuit Again program creates space for people to thrive, and grow in tech—despite the career gap. 

2. Get mentorship and support

Companies with returnship programs can help interns bounce back into the corporate world. These programs can help talent outside the current workforce feel less isolated, and build confidence. 

At Intuit, interns get support from a passionate team of leaders, program managers, and program graduates. Managers provide technical mentorship to help them feel confident. Monthly check-ins help interns understand how they are performing against their goals and provide guidance to continue growing in their careers. Regular conversations with managers also help align with their long-term career goals too.

“We ensure there are several touch points to mentor interns in the program,” says Kirti. We also assign Buddies to help interns settle into their new workplace experience. Interns also take part in leadership connect and fireside chat with Intuit Again alumni to network, build connections and feel like they belong in the workplace. Many have found the sessions helpful to learn from their senior co-workers’ experiences and aim for a long-term career at Intuit. 

Dedicated career development opportunities can provide guidance for interns. As part of our Intuit Again program, we offer monthly tech learning boot camps which sharpen their skills and expand their knowledge in tech. 

3. Build connection with the company and its values 

Returnships are more impactful when they align with the company’s mission. Throughout the experience, participants will build a deep understanding of what the company cares about. This allows both the company and members of the program to determine if there is a good fit. 

Program participants often provide feedback once they’ve become full-time employees. Most say they already feel a deep connection to the company. 

We’re proud that our Intuit Again program has a 90 percent conversion rate for interns becoming full-time employees. “When we look at the program, it is a great way to bring diverse talent into our workforce. The talent helps us cater to our customers around the world,” says Mohan. 

If you are looking for the perfect next step in your career after a break, consider applying for our Intuit Again program.  

How can I find companies that offer returnship programs

A quick Google search for returnship programs should yield some viable results. You can also search for “return-to-work programs.” 

If you are looking for the perfect next step in your career after a break, consider applying for a returnship program in 2023, like our Intuit Again program. Learn job-ready skills in a growth-forward education environment and gain valuable insights from knowledgeable peers and mentors. Contact us today to learn more.