Early this spring, Andrea Acevedo thought her prospects of finding an internship looked grim. The third-year engineering student at Wright State University is studying industrial systems and needed a chance to get on-the-job experience in her field. But Acevedo watched as COVID-19 began to touch industries across the state and assumed the worst.
“I wasn’t sure if many companies would be taking on interns, and I thought even if they hired an intern, they’d decide, ‘Sorry, we can’t have you anymore,’ Acevedo said. “Even if I started somewhere, I wasn’t sure how permanent it would be. But then Sheryl Kent from Student Success Services reached out and told me about the Ohio Third Frontier’s Diversity & Inclusion Technology Internship program.”
The Ohio Third Frontier program pairs interns with companies who need them, offering paid internships to give college students a great experience in business and entrepreneurship while companies get young, diverse talent to help them compete and grow. The program reimburses two-thirds of the intern’s wages up to $10,000, and any technology company or organization with a technology need is eligible. The fall round of applications for the internship opens for companies Aug. 11 through Sept. 8. Students can apply Aug. 25 through Sept. 22.
Acevedo found her home at Metallurgical Solutions Inc., a commercial testing lab performing metal testing and industrial forensics. The topic was a totally new one to Acevedo, but it turned out to be a perfect fit.
“I was worried that it wouldn’t be helpful to me in the future, and it’s been the exact opposite,” she said. “It was a lot of chemistry, which I didn’t really like in college. But they work with so many different companies in every background – aerospace, manufacturing, paper, all kinds of things. So to be able to see how all these companies operate and what’s helpful to them has been beneficial to my career.”
Like many businesses, Metallurgical Solutions has been impacted by COVID-19. Owner and Director Brian Joyce said his company isn’t making its typical revenue, which made the Ohio Third Frontier’s help in paying for a useful intern all the more important. And on top of that help, Acevedo herself — the first intern to come through the Diversity & Inclusion Technology program at the company — has proven to be a major asset, a common bit of feedback from businesses involved in the program.
Internships are open to Ohio residents attending college anywhere in the United States or non-Ohio residents attending school in Ohio.
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