Shelby.jpgWritten by Shelby Ramsey, CSU STEM VISTA 2015-16, CSU Monterey Bay School of Computing and Design

Since my year of service began at CSU Monterey Bay with the School of Computing and Design, I wanted to ensure the focus on creating internships for our students lived beyond my VISTA year. Helping the students secure internships has led to them earning money and feeling financially secure, and it has provided relevant work experience and helped them develop professional relationships in their respective career fields.

There is one program in particular that provides highly beneficial services and support to our CSUMB students: CSin3 (Computer Science in 3 years program). This program currently consist of 3-cohorts of students who, with the support of faculty, staff, and their fellow cohort peers, will successfully grow and graduate together. Throughout the school year, CSUMB faculty and staff in this program help guide the students through meaningful reflection on their passions and interests, help students gain computer science or communication design experience, support them with their resume and LinkedIn account development, and prepare for interviews.

Every semester students in the cohorts have the opportunity to interview with technology companies from Silicon Valley. To make it even better, the companies come on campus and do interviews with the students, which relieves the stress of a student having to travel to interview and possibly miss classes and work.

IMG_6187.JPGBy early July, 45 of our cohort students will start their internships. Students will participate in a variety of internship opportunities, some landing opportunities with organizations like Apple, Amazon, Heavy Connect, NBC, Salesforce, and Uber. One student in particular will even be visiting Spain for the summer! Throughout the students’ internships, they will have the opportunity to reflect each week, which will ultimately help them prepare for the internship symposium, which gives students the space to present what they worked on during the summer. Students are even able to invite mentors, supervisors, colleagues, other students, family, and other community members to celebrate and acknowledge all their hard work.

Since I did not get an experience like this in college I have greatly appreciated the opportunity to support this program, and I love seeing how students are taking advantage of the opportunities given to them. Ultimately, I hope every university can find innovative ways to prepare our students for the “real world.”

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