As the summer slowly fades and interns return to their campuses, there are important lessons to be learned about the impact and opportunities these young people are having in helping Indiana position itself as a global tech hub. .
Interns provide insight into ways we can better create access, cultivate inclusivity, and chart a clear path that many other future professionals can take to become part of Indiana’s tech workforce. and help minimize the global tech talent challenge ahead of us. As we work together as a community to amplify TechPoint’s efforts to grow Indiana’s workforce to 230,000 by 2030, here are some ways to develop and implement an internship program that can help create a diverse talent pool for the future.
Make internships accessible
A 2020 McKinsey study found that the most diverse companies earn 36% more than their less diverse peers. It is imperative that Indiana technology companies keep in mind how we can expand entry points for students and foster an inclusive environment once they are in our workplace.
Key factors include offering paid internships with flexible hours and remote work opportunities that accommodate summer school, additional part-time jobs and family obligations. Additionally, help inform interns of housing options if they are moving for the summer from out of state and benefits such as access to health and wellness or snacks and meals are all factors that help attract talent and support interns both personally and professionally.
Therefore, it is imperative to remember that students bring their experiences back to the classroom and share them with others. Therefore, creating advocates who have experienced first-hand Indiana’s thriving and supportive tech scene for a summer will keep our state on the radar for many more students and entry-level candidates for years to come.
Coaching high-potential talents and giving them the tools to succeed
Good planning is the key to a successful internship. Set expectations early, make their first day memorable, and most importantly, give your team the tools and encouragement they need to positively coach and support interns to engage and succeed.
Mentoring and matching students with the best-suited manager is one of the most essential elements of a successful internship experience. Mentors provide perspective, connect interns with someone in the workplace who can share the same lived experience, integrate them into the organization, share the company culture, and help them see paths and career results by working on real projects that can solidify the intern’s future career goals.
Additionally, the relationships that are cultivated over the summer often have a lasting impact long after the internship is over.
Be open to collaboration opportunities
Meeting today’s demand for tech talent means being open to partnerships and collaborations. From experiences like TechPoint’s Xtern program to partnerships with Kenzie Academy and shared internships with higher education institutions, it will take innovative thinking to develop the talent and networks we need to continue to thrive.
A current pharmacy student and one of hc1’s 2022 summer interns said, “I was looking for the skills and knowledge on a developing avenue in health informatics. I believe in precision health and improving the landscape of medicine. I wanted to be able to develop my own opinion experientially to see if I could see myself doing this type of work as a niche pharmacy application path versus traditional pharmacy paths.
Giving him the opportunity to integrate health informatics into his education and explore new and mature technologies helps to close the digital health knowledge gap and plant the seeds of health technology as a future option. career and demonstrates how our worlds are interconnected.
We are proof that the collaboration works as a number of former interns originally paired with hc1 out of these collaborations have gone on to become full-time professionals on our team.
Exploration is an essential part of the college experience. Creating greater access and a broader journey for students to experience first-hand what it’s like to work in the health tech industry, the fastest growing vertical in the healthcare industry. This will be key to addressing the global tech talent challenges we face and creating equitable regional prosperity for those seeking their dream tech jobs.