Louis Stanasolovich has devised a strategy for combating the brain drain syndrome afflicting Pittsburgh: internship programs.
Pittsburgh boasts more than 30 vocational and higher education institutions, yet many graduates of these schools leave the area to chase after opportunities in other cities, according to studies based on the latest census report. Through his extensive internship program, Stanasolovich has created big-city opportunities at his company, Legend Financial Advisors Inc., right here in Pittsburgh. And with a founder, president and CEO that was named one of “America’s Best Bosses” by Fortune Small Business, Legend is a desirable place to be for any aspiring financial planning adviser. And, unlike many internship programs, Stanasolovich’s is paid.
Stanasolovich first started his internship program when he started the company in 1994. Both the program and the company have grown considerably since then 18 interns buttress a 19-person staff. The intern-to-employee ratio is unusually high at Legend, but it suits the company well. The interns become an intrinsic part of the team, and many of them find full-time employment after their 24- to 36-month terms.
Part of Stanasolovich’s success, and consequently the success of his interns, comes from his unique training style. Every intern undergoes training designed by Stanasolovich that incorporates educational videos the same videos that full-time employees study, so the transition, if there is one, from intern to full-time staff is a smooth process.
With such a large program, there is not room to hire every intern. But Stanasolovich has come up with a creative way of taking care of them all, even after their time at the company. As he continues to gain recognition for his program, Stanasolovich aims to invite other advisory firms into Legend in order to spread the word on the benefits of having interns, and even offer advice for creating their own internships. In the process, he introduces them to his graduating interns that cannot be hired full-time at his own firm. That way, even those that do not find a full-time opportunity with Stanasolovich still have the chance to consider Pittsburgh-based careers.
HOW TO REACH: Legend Financial Advisors Inc., (888) 236-5960 or www.legend-financial.com