MRO Magazine


National internship program launched to deal with leadership succession issue in Canada

Program offers business and engineering students from across Canada the opportunity to advance their careers at multi-national company’s Montreal-based corporate offices.

Montreal – Walter Surface Technologies, which designs and develops high-performance products for the metalworking industry, has launched Next to Succeed, a nationwide search for two of Canada’s brightest students that will help to close the leadership gap among millennials and upper management.

Walter's Pierre Somers and Ryan Boyd inform a student of the  company's leadership succession program.

Walter’s Pierre Somers and Ryan Boyd inform student Shara Khan of the company’s leadership succession program.

Following the company’s successful launch of Objectif: Relève, the Quebec-based internship program started last year, Next to Succeed is the national extension of the program that fosters the development of future leaders through an innovative paid internship that offers business and engineering students from across Canada the opportunity to submit their applications to advance their careers at the multi-national company’s Montreal-based corporate offices.

“It is our goal to develop Canada’s leaders of tomorrow and encourage other Canadian organizations to create strong leadership succession plans by investing in millennials,” says Pierre Somers, chairman and CEO, Walter Surface Technologies. “This innovative approach will offer the ideal platform for students and employees to grow and exchange ideas, which also will ultimately help to further our organization’s growth.”

As many senior and second-level executives retire or approach retirement, Canadian organizations face a serious leadership succession challenge. According to Statistics Canada 2013 Trends and Forecasts, companies that transition to the next generation without a succession plan experience a drop in business in their first years that can negatively impact the Canadian economy.

“The Canadian population is aging and there is a critical need to fast-track efforts to train the next generation of young leaders, says Alain Gosselin, a professor in the Department of Human Resources Management, HEC Montreal. “Succession planning and management is a process that helps with the stability and duration of qualified workers and Canadian companies require fresh and innovative thinking that uses existing tools and ideas to ensure continued effective performance of an organization and tactical application of key people over time.”

Next To Succeed is the organization’s systematic approach to identify, develop and retain talent for key positions. The internship program contributes to the creation of a generation of qualified leaders by providing access to training and development — including the opportunity to work directly with the chairman and CEO, as well as executive management — on key projects in the areas of research and development, finance, operations and marketing.

Students from Canada’s top business schools will have the chance to learn more about Next to Succeed during a national campus speaking tour led by Pierre Somers, and Ryan Boyd, the internship program recipient of last year’s Objectif: Relève. Aspiring students will also have the opportunity to create an elevator-pitch-style video highlighting their skills sets and job goals to accompany their internship application through an on-campus activation at Toronto’s Rotman School of Business and the Alberta School of Business Students.

Students can apply for the internship by visiting from February 20, 2015 to April 17, 2015. Two interns will be selected on May 8, 2015 by the Walter Surface Technologies’ leadership committee to complete the internship program, taking place from June to August, 2015.

About Walter Surface Technologies

Established more than 62 years ago, the Montreal-based, privately owned Walter Surface Technologies is an important provider to the global metal surfaces industry. Aside from Canada, the company has established subsidiaries in the following countries: the United States, Germany, Mexico, Brazil, Austria and Switzerland, and continues to grow a presence around the world.

Walter Surface Technologies has its research, development and distribution quality systems certified under the International Standard ISO 9001: 2008.

Bill Roebuck

Bill Roebuck

Bill Roebuck is the Editor and Associate Publisher of Machinery & Equipment MRO magazine and

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