Community Internship Program

Feeding the homeless, repairing homes and tutoring inmates are not the activities you would typically find in a training course for senior level managers - except at UPS.

Founded in 1968, the Community Internship Program (CIP) is an intense management training course designed to immerse senior level executives in the community, exposing them to a variety of social and economic challenges facing today's workforce. While in the program, managers leave their jobs and families to spend a month living and working in one of four CIP sites run by local non-profit agencies. Internship sites are located in New York City, Chattanooga, TN, McAllen, TX and San Francisco, CA.

A Life-Altering Experience

The program helps managers enhance their problem-solving skills and develop a greater sensitivity towards their employees. Managers become heavily involved in the work of the non-profit agencies and experience social problems - poverty, homelessness, illiteracy, drug dependency and alcoholism - firsthand. Typical activities include serving meals to the homeless, helping rid an inner city community of drug paraphernalia, building houses for immigrants and helping teachers manage classrooms of children.

Managers become exposed to situations they would rarely encounter in corporate America or learn about in the classroom - issues their employees might experience in their day-to-day lives. Managers continue to receive their salary while on assignment.

What is the experience like for a senior executive to leave behind the comforts of home and job status?

CIP aids UPS in developing and strengthening its managers, while helping to improve the communities where its employees live and work. After completing four weeks of "hands-on" community service and learning projects, UPS managers leave with a sense of accomplishment, community involvement and with a greater sensitivity to those less fortunate. Gary Wu, an Intern from North Asia who participated in the program, put the experience in his own words:  "I started to realize how small the world is by looking at the realities that others experience. It was not easy or joyful at the beginning, but very worth it at the end. I was able to cross my boundaries and expand my capacity to care and serve others."