Retail Client Creatively Reconstructs Intern Housing Program to Build Loyal Advocates

College student working in his apartment

A national retail franchise was under pressure to conserve cash flow by reducing expenses, while at the same time, promote available internships at their company headquarters. The internal and external optics of this program were crucial: in a cost-savings and cost-avoidance mode, this client had to justify the intern housing program and still provide an experience that was worthy of a healthy conversion of interns to employees.


With severe budget constraints and pending workforce reductions looming, the client wanted an intern housing program that was comparable to competitive offerings, while maintaining their current budget. Their current program included the utilization of single-bedroom dorm-style housing, with a common living space. The units did not have a kitchen, appliances, television or areas to store food. They had selected these units solely based on affordability, which was $35 per day, per person for a 90-day stay.


After partnering with Oakwood Worldwide, the client was able to construct a housing program that would improve the intern’s experience in ways that would not impact budget. The new housing program included attractive corporate apartments with fully equipped kitchens, modern appliances, wifi access, televisions, plus washers and dryers – for the same price that the client was paying for dorm-style accommodations. These apartments were further away from popular shopping and dining hubs, which helped to limit costs. Because this was a retail company, Oakwood Worldwide suggested that the client dress each apartment with its products and company-branded décor to drive brand awareness and promote the company culture. Small touches like a personalized welcome letter and a full set of bedding that the intern could take home after the internship ended – made the internship a memorable experience. All of the new program elements were aimed to have a major impact on intern satisfaction and ultimately help convert interns into employees.


Through its partnership with Oakwood Worldwide, the client was able to create a comprehensive and competitive intern housing program that protected the bottom line. By adding a new housing option and a few creative elements, the new program created a more holistic and immersive experience that better communicated the client’s brand through every touch-point of its internship program. The new housing option also made the program more affordable as interns were able to save money on monthly food costs and travel expenses.