Walter Surface Technologies (Montreal), which designs and develops high performance products for the metalworking industry, has selected two of Canada’s brightest students for its innovative internship program, Next to Succeed. This program aims to help close the leadership gap among millennials and upper management. Following the company’s successful launch of Objectif: Relève, the Quebec based internship program started last year, Next to Succeed is the national extension of the program. It fosters the development of future leaders through a paid internship to advance the careers of business and engineering students at the multinational company’s Montreal-based corporate offices. Chemical engineering student, Cyril Tremblay, from École Polytechnique de Montréal and MBA student David Wright from University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, will join Walter Surface Technologies this summer as the Next to Succeed candidates. They will work directly with executive management and the chairman and CEO, Pierre Somers, on key projects in the areas of Research & Development, Finance, Operations and Marketing. “Next to Succeed is a great opportunity to work directly with senior-level management at Walter Surface Technologies and enhance my leadership skills,” says Tremblay. “I was excited to be selected for the Next to Succeed internship,” adds Wright. “It accelerates your career preparation by introducing you to different sectors of the business at a level that is simply not available through typical internship programs.” As many senior and second-level executives retire or approach retirement, Canadian organizations face a serious leadership succession challenge. According to Statistics Canada 2013 Trends and Forecasts, companies that transition to the next generation without a succession plan experience a drop in business in their first years that can negatively impact the national economy. “This innovative internship will provide our interns and employees, as well as senior management, the chance to collaborate and learn from each other, which will ultimately support our company’s continued growth,” says Somers. “I look forward to the opportunity to work with and learn from our Next to Succeed candidates.” Established more than 62 years ago, the Montreal-based, privately owned company is a significant provider to the global metal surfaces industry. Aside from Canada, it has established subsidiaries in the US, Germany, Mexico, Brazil, Austria and Switzerland, and continues to grow a presence around the world.