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How can employers most effectively engage with the pool of talent returning from career break? The reentry internship removes the perceived risk some managers attach to hiring returning professionals at the same time it provides a formal pathway back into the workforce for the individual on career break. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, IBM, Intel and General Motors are among the global companies piloting or running formal reentry internship programs and the concept is spreading. Carol Fishman Cohen explains why the reentry internship is the perfect vehicle for employers to engage with “relaunchers” in her talk “The 40-Year-Old Intern.”

Carol Fishman Cohen, CEO, iRelaunch, is the co-author of career reentry strategy book Back on the Career Track and author of the “40-Year-Old Intern” article series in Harvard Business Review. She consults extensively with companies developing and running reentry internship programs for returning professionals. Carol originated and co-leads the Society of Women Engineers/iRelaunch STEM Reentry Task Force initiative in which 7 global engineering-based companies are piloting reentry internship programs for returning engineers. Carol’s return to work at Bain Capital after 11 years out of the full time workforce is documented in a Harvard Business School case study.


About the Speaker

Carol Fishman Cohen

Carol Fishman Cohen

Carol is CEO and co-founder of iRelaunch, a comprehensive career reentry resource for employers, individuals, universities and professional associations.Carol has been on a ​dual mission for ​nearly 15 years​:​ to elevate the profile​​ and champion the success of professionals returning to ​the workforce after a career break, and to educate and support employers that engage with return-to-work talent. Her goal is to normalize the career path that includes a career break and document successful transitions back into the workforce, so that employers understand the value proposition that returning professionals provide. Carol speaks and consults globally about career reentry strategy​ and is frequently quoted on the topic in the national press​.

Carol is the co-author of ​career reentry strategy book Back on the Career Track and a returning professional herself. Carol’s return to work at Bain Capital after 11 years out of the full-time workforce is documented in a Harvard Business School case study. Carol has connected with thousands of professionals who have successfully returned to work after a hiatus, and has engaged with hundreds of hiring managers to understand their perspectives on hiring people returning from career break.

iRelaunch’s flagship event, the ​annual iRelaunch Return-​to​-Work Conference in New York City, is the leading external source of candidates for the major Wall Street reentry internship programs and is the largest and longest-​running dedicated career reentry event in the ​United States. Carol has been tracking career reentry programs of all types since 2008 and writes a series of articles for Harvard Business Review on the theme “The 40-Year-Old Intern.” Carol originated and co-leads the Society of Women Engineers/iRelaunch STEM Reentry Task Force, an initiative to increase the pipeline of female engineers via reentry internship programs at STEM sector companies.