Purdue looks to connect with more high-tech companies for Interns for Indiana program

February 18, 2013  

Suresh Garimella

Suresh Garimella
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University is recruiting high-tech startup and second-stage companies across the state to participate in the Interns for Indiana program. 

The companies are matched with high-quality undergraduate student interns through the Purdue program, led by the Discovery Learning Research Center. Interns are placed with companies based on the potential for a quality experience for students, the opportunity for on-the-job growth and future employment, and the company's specific needs.

"Interest in the model program continues to surge, particularly from innovative startup companies all across Indiana and from entrepreneurially minded students looking to position themselves for quality jobs after graduation," said Suresh Garimella, Purdue associate vice president for engagement and the R. Eugene and Susie E. Goodson Distinguished Professor.

Purdue's Interns for Indiana program is partially funded by the Lilly Endowment Inc. Participating companies are required to provide a $2,000 membership fee to help cover a portion of student and program costs, said Monica Shively, coordinator for the Interns for Indiana program.

Companies partnering with the Interns for Indiana summer program are matched with Purdue juniors and seniors who work a minimum of 400 hours during the summer session, and who receive a stipend of $4,500 for successful participation, she said.

"Recognizing the constrained financial resources of most startup and second-stage companies, especially during a tough economy, the program attempts to keep company costs for skilled interns as low as possible," Shively said.

Each July, the companies and students are recognized in a celebration luncheon and poster session at the Hall for Discovery and Learning Research in Purdue's Discovery Park. At the poster celebration, participants gain greater understanding of the program's scope and statewide impact.

"In every case, interactions with the interns through this Purdue program have moved projects forward or allowed us to begin to explore new projects while reducing costs," said David Gilmartin, chief financial officer and operations manager at Mor-NuCo LLC in West Lafayette.

March 6 is the deadline for the companies to apply for summer 2013 interns. For details, go to http://www.purdue.edu/dp/ifi

Companies participating in Purdue's Interns for Indiana Program must meet the following requirements:

* High-tech startup or second-stage status.

* For-profit status.

* Located in Indianapolis or near the Purdue campuses in West Lafayette, Calumet, North Central Indiana or Fort Wayne.

* Able to define and manage an appropriate and challenging internship experience.

* Provide entrepreneurial experience through regular in-person interactions.

* Contribute a $2,000 membership fee.

To participate in the program, students from the West Lafayette or regional campuses must be:

* Juniors and seniors enrolled in first BA or BS degree program.

* From any undergraduate major.

* Interested in entrepreneurship.

* Have a minimum 2.8 GPA.

Launched in 2004, Interns for Indiana is designed to enhance student learning by facilitating practical hands-on experiences for all majors. Primarily funded by the Lilly Endowment, the program has matched more than 550 Purdue students with internships at more than 185 Indiana startup and second-stage companies and provided more than 200,000 combined hours of labor.

A key reason for creating the program was the "brain drain" issue facing the state, in which Indiana's talented college graduates leave in search of high-paying, high-tech jobs in large metropolitan cities, particularly on the East and West coasts, Shively says.

In addition, the program boosts the quality of Indiana's workforce by providing experiences that encourage quality Purdue students to seek in-state employment after graduation, while driving economic development and job creation by supporting these high-tech companies.

Writer: Phillip Fiorini, 765-496-3133, pfiorini@purdue.edu

Sources: Suresh Garimella, 765-494-9095, sureshg@purdue.edu

Monica Shively, 765-496-1617, shivelmm@purdue.edu

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