We aim to support young people in their careers with learning opportunities to grow in their chosen fields. This is their story.

At Santander, we strive to create an open working environment where employees can tailor their own learning and grow professionally. Every year, hundreds of young people take their first steps in the world of work with our scholarships and internships for students and recent graduates

Over the last year, over 2,000 interns from 34 countries have joined us on 26 programmes that help meet the group’s needs in such areas as finance, technology, innovation and support services. We introduce you to some of them:

Grupo Santander interns

Internships are where many young people can discover what they like to do, their strengths and the industries that most appeal to them to start shaping their career path. We want to be by their side, doing whatever we can to help them become the talented leaders of tomorrow.  

+ 2,000 interns

from 34 countries have joined us

+ 2,000 interns

from 34 countries have joined us

It is vital to create an environment where interns can unleash their full potential. In recent years, we've adapted and transitioned to hybrid internship models of virtual and office work — even in the most trying times of the pandemic.

A learning experience for our teams, too

Our employees and organization also learn a great deal from our interns. We share in their enthusiasm and desire to learn and innovate. We delight in working with great professionals, regardless of where they come from. Our mission is to ensure diversity and inclusion in our teams.

According to Chema Palomo, vice-president of Talent at Grupo Santander, “advances in technology are changing our lives faster than ever before, even at work. That’s why the first thing we look for in these young people is potential”. Palomo tells the new generations that two key attributes of tomorrow’s professionals are the ability to learn (from experience and other areas) and the drive to innovate and apply what they learn to uncharted situations. 

“It’s crucial these young people embrace our culture and mission to help millions of people prosper and realize their dreams — what we call the Santander Effect”, he added. That blend of motivation and potential are what our interns learn from us, and us from them.

Zayra Gonzalez
Zayra Gonzalez
Kenneth Van Spankeren
Kenneth Van Spankeren

Making headway

In addition to gaining experience with us, some students who have taken part in our programmes have gone on to start their careers at the bank.  

For Zayra González, who comes from the Dominican Republic and works in Human Resources’ Technology and Operations team, “Santander champions diversity and is constantly giving opportunities to people with varying backgrounds, profiles and interests”. Having begun her internship with us in Spain in 2018, she went on to describe the group as “a place that welcomed me and other non-natives with open arms”. 

Zayra’s been with us for over a year and a half and is a proud founding member of the first Global HR Operations HUB that rolled out Workday. For her, the project was exciting because “it started with five people in Madrid and is now a team of 15, in four countries, that supports 95,000 employees”.

Still, one of her most cherished memories is from her internship in 2018: “I still talk about the 2018 culture workshop. I’ll never forget it because of the size of the event. I found out about many projects I was later able to get involved in”. She had the chance to meet HR leaders from several countries to discuss the group’s culture, health and wellbeing programmes.

Others like Kenneth Van Spankeren, who now works in Commercial Banking in the US, faced an uphill task in finding an internship in 2020 amid the outbreak of the pandemic. According to Van Spankeren, “joining a company from behind a computer in a pandemic is not easy; but Santander gave me a shot and was fantastic in getting me on board. Despite not meeting them in person, my colleagues have been great at welcoming me into the fold”.

When looking for somewhere to begin his career, Kenneth knew he wanted a fast-moving and challenging environment with a good work-life balance — and he found exactly that at Santander. For him, the most thrilling aspect is the constant journey into the unknown: “I learn something new every day. Not knowing what tomorrow might bring is exhilarating and keeps me on my toes.

One of the most striking moments was an event with other interns at the end of the programme: “There were 100 of us, and they split us into 10 groups, with each team assigned a task. It was a competition, and we had to present to senior executives. I really enjoyed working with, and getting to know, all the other interns”.

Lean on us

8 May is International Intern Day, and we want to thank all the young people who have chosen to start their careers with us, and to invite everyone who so wishes to join us

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