Innovating the internship: How R&D reimagined the intern experience for 2020

Every year, our R&D team welcomes top talent to Clorox as summer interns.

It’s a great opportunity for students to learn what it’s like to work at Clorox, and their research helps us develop new innovations.

This year, the R&D internship looked a little different.

The COVID-19 pandemic inspired all of us to rapidly reimagine the way we work. That includes Clorox R&D, where much of the team transitioned to working from home. Our labs and pilot plants were reserved for business-critical work only.

This created a unique challenge for the intern committee that oversees the R&D internship program, as many intern projects typically involve hands-on testing in labs and pilot plants.

The committee reimagined what it would take to give interns a taste of Clorox R&D — all while being 100% remote and 100% safe. Intern mentors rose to the challenge of creating meaningful virtual projects and pivoting to a 7-week virtual format.

Isis worked on the Glad brand this past summer, and she was surrounded by Glad products and packaging even while remote.

And it was a busy seven weeks! During that time, our R&D interns conducted a variety of research projects and participated in hands-on learning remotely. The interns did store walk-throughs in their hometowns to learn about Clorox products on-shelf. The Kingsford intern even did grill testing in his backyard!

Our interns connected weekly with their mentors and each other to discuss their experiences, share learnings and participate in fun social events — from a virtual tour of San Francisco graffiti art to virtual happy hours and even a virtual salsa-making class with a world-renowned chef in Mexico City.

Through it all, the R&D interns, mentors and intern committee made the most of seven short weeks to maximize project learnings, assess talent and showcase Clorox’s culture virtually.

It might not have been the internship many expected, but it was uniquely Clorox R&D.

Lily worked on the Hidden Valley Ranch brand and did a store walk-through to see product on-shelf.