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Making Internships Work (and Fun)

By Brynt Parmeter, Director of Workforce Development, Education, and Training, NextFlex

Over the summer, NextFlex embarked upon a very ambitious Internship program that has fully exceeded our expectations. Last summer we employed one intern. This summer, we employed thirteen. This included eleven high school interns, all rising seniors, and two college level interns.

The high school interns were involved with two separate project areas. The first cohort of high school interns were funded in partnership with the San Jose Works and Silicon Valley Organization STRIVE programs. These four students were immersed into all business and technical operations within NextFlex to include marketing, finance, workforce development, operations, and the fabrication facility. They were invaluable to the staff and completed hundreds of hours of work to a high degree. The second cohort of seven high school students were funded by NextFlex and were focused on developing the concepts for our participation in the Science and Innovation Awards and Show activities later this fall in Los Angeles, CA. These students developed a pavilion concept idea, pitched the idea to the Hollywood production teams, and engaged with industry marketing and technology leads to incorporate product demonstrators in the public engagement pavilion. Their work was on par with contract marketing and event staffs. Our two college interns were more narrowly focused, one on marketing, and the other technology development and the fabrication facility.

We couldn’t have been more impressed with the quality that these students brought to work every day in both their professional bearing, problem solving, teamwork, and general attitude. We look forward to developing a year round internships program with local colleges and universities and can’t wait to bring in more high school interns next summer.

For more information on making intern programs work for you, please contact me.