Much better than being caged in a cubicle for the summer, eight college students will get to ride motorcycles, and document their experiences, in a new internship from Harley-Davidson.
The interns, whom Harley hopes to select by mid-May, will be given bikes and taught to ride. Then, throughout the summer, they will attend motorcycle events across the country, and maybe overseas, documenting everything through social media.
Eight students, expected to be college juniors and seniors and at least 18 years old, will be chosen for the 12-week, paid summer internships.
The program is open to any student looking to pursue a career in social media, communications, public relations or marketing.
After learning to ride, they will chronicle their summer by posting videos, pictures and stories on their personal social media channels and Harley’s channels including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and SnapChat.
“We are going to send them all over the country,” said Heidi Skinner, director of channel marketing.
The interns could, for example, cover a Thursday “bike night” at the Harley-Davidson Museum or a flat-track motorcycle race in California.
Some will attend Harley’s 115th anniversary parties in the Czech Republic and Milwaukee.
“We are going to get them immersed into the high-profile events, for sure, but also into more underground, counter-culture events. We are looking for it all,” Skinner said.
In addition to a salary, and riding experiences, the interns will get experience with marketing and other functions at the world’s largest manufacturer of heavyweight motorcycles.
And, of course, they get to keep the bike they rode through the summer.
“We think that really sweetens the deal,” Skinner said.
College students from anywhere in the world are eligible for the internships. Applications are being accepted starting Friday, and are due May 11.
Harley is looking for social media savvy and the ability to create media content.
“We will really test that in the application process by having the students create a video, write an essay, develop a photo collage or however they want to tell their story,” Skinner said.
Also, the interns “will need to work pretty independently because we are going to entrust a lot to them.”
The program is part of Harley’s efforts to attract younger motorcyclists. The company has other internships, too, in areas such as engineering and human resources.
In the U.S., Harley and other motorcycle manufacturers are caught between two customer demographic trends: millennials who aren’t widely embracing the motorcycling lifestyle, and baby boomers who are aging out of riding.
Harley’s 10-year strategy is to train 2 million new U.S. riders, grow international business to 50% of sales and launch 100 new “high-impact” motorcycles.
“We’re continuously working to grow the sport of motorcycling,” Harley-Davidson CEO Matt Levatich said in a statement.
More information on the internships can be found on the internship page of Harley's website.