IUPUI is partnering with Indiana’s technology sector initiative TechPoint for a pilot program designed to integrate industry and university work-and-learn experiences for college seniors. The university says Xtern Semester aims to pipeline students into tech jobs through an extended internship model.
Mike Langellier, chief executive officer of TechPoint says the program targets a foundational challenge of summer internships. He says the tech sector lacks the types of extended internship and rotational co-op programs seen in other industries.
"A challenge of summer internships is their short duration. By the time an employer fully onboards an intern, it’s time for them to head back to school. Simultaneously, students are deprived of an opportunity to make more money and acquire relevant work experience," said Langellier. "We wanted to change that by creating a framework and an inspiration that could scale to more students, more universities and more employers, leading to the ultimate goal of an even larger, year-round pipeline of talent into the Indianapolis tech ecosystem."
IUPUI says selected seniors will start in TechPoint’s existing Xtern program, in which TechPoint matches the students with an employer for a paid internship. When the students return to school for the fall semester, Xtern Semester participants will resume their senior-year classes and continue to work at their employer for at least 20 hours per week. The students will also earn academic credit for their work experience.
The university will also provide supplemental workshops on soft skills and workplace readiness. The program’s first cohort will consist of 12 students working at employers including Angie’s List, Appirio, GEICO, Vibenomics and Viral Launch, among others.