Their internships will always be a powerful vehicle to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and real-world experience.
When I think of summer, I picture going to the beach, lake or pool, and spending time with friends and family at BBQs. Summer is a time for many things like fireworks, s’mores and catching fireflies on long, hot days, but for me personally, this year, the word “summer” is also synonymous with internships. I have had the pleasure to witness – first-hand – the value of the internship via our Digital Lakes Micro-Internship program.
On August 10, 2023, our first class of students will graduate from our inaugural program geared toward real-world practical application of jobs in the IT industry. Since May, each of these students have rotated monthly through three different companies, in a variety of industries. The students have learned how technology is entwined and embedded in every position, at every company. They’ve received valuable hands-on experience working on digital/tech projects in companies and industries they would otherwise never have gotten exposure to such as the defense, automotive and health insurance industries. The group ranged from students who will be entering college in the fall to rising juniors in college. The students represent diversity on every front with majors ranging from IT, engineering, art, business and some that are still undecided, with 33% representing minorities and 56% women.
Our Micro-Internship program has been a win-win for both students and employers and their IT focused areas. Students have gained practical experience, gotten insights into potential career paths, and were provided a competitive advantage in the job market. Employers have equally benefited from the program, getting to know an energetic pool of talent that grew up in the digital-age, who were eager to share their innovative ideas with their organizations in a short period of time. The participating companies have gained access to students that otherwise may not have considered their firm or even an IT related career. These companies have had the opportunity to create a robust talent pipeline as these students finish up their degrees.
We want to thank all of our participating companies for leading this talented group of individuals including:
- AM General
- Cooper Standard
- General Dynamics Land Systems
- General Motors
- Magna International
- Recaro Automotive
As the IT sector continues to grow and evolve, the symbiotic relationship between the intern and the employer is built on shared advantages:
- Real-World Application: Students get to apply their academic knowledge in a professional setting, gaining practical skills and building a solid foundation for their careers.
- Mentoring and Development: Companies have the opportunity to mentor and groom young talent, shaping them into well-rounded professionals. Investing in interns can lead to committed employees who have a deep understanding of the company’s values and culture.
- Diversity and Inclusion: Digital Lakes Micro-Internships promote diversity and inclusion by providing students from various backgrounds with equal access to industry opportunities. By welcoming interns from diverse perspectives, companies foster an inclusive work environment and enhance their overall innovation and creativity.
Over the past several weeks, I’ve watched these students grow. Each student was required to present to the firms they are working for and showcasing what they’ve learned. They impressed me thoroughly, and I am confident these students will be successful as they enter the workforce. Their internships will always be a powerful vehicle to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and real-world experience. I invite you to learn more about our Digital Lakes Micro-Internship program and even consider getting involved, either as a participating company or maybe encouraging your son or daughter or someone you know to participate. As technology becomes an increasingly integral facet to every aspect of our lives, the advantages of completing internships in high school and college within the IT arena have become more pronounced than ever. To learn more, visit www.digital-lakes.org.