The biggest day for tech talent in central Indiana occurred last Friday, November 9, with more than 400 people in attendance at TechPoint’s Xtern Finalist Day. 155 rising college sophomores and juniors from across the country who made it to the final round of Xtern, TechPoint’s 10-week summer internship, landed in downtown Indianapolis for a chance to secure a tech or business-skilled internship in Indiana tech companies.
“Xtern Finalist Day is a game changer for tech in Indiana,” says Merillat Flowers, Senior Director of College-to-Career Talent at TechPoint. “More than 700 20-minute interviews between tech companies and students were facilitated in one day. We can confidently say we are recruiting a highly-skilled pipeline of talent that will build, market and manage current and future tech businesses.”
“Tech jobs have grown at the fastest rate of our advanced industries over the last 7 years,” says Mike Langellier, President and CEO of TechPoint. “We’re one of 25 best cities for jobs according to Glassdoor, but we have a few challenges for accessing top talent. Lack of awareness of our tech companies and a lack of universities not located in Indianapolis but dispersed across the state make it difficult for students with in-demand skills to see themselves in Indy when they graduate.”
Over the past 5 years, Xtern has become a highly sought-after national brand. “It is so successful because our team is out recruiting on campus and speaks on behalf of the entire tech community, not just one company. We compete for interest at career fairs right alongside Google, Facebook, and other companies that do not have a presence in Indiana. That’s a burden for companies that we take away, making it easy for them to participate in and trust our talent pipeline,” says Merillat.
For the 150 or so spots in the 2019 class, TechPoint’s Xtern program received 1,816 applicants who came from 43 home states and 120 universities, ranging from Carnegie Mellon University to UT Austin to UCLA and UC Berkeley.
Prior to Xtern, 31 percent of students have a positive impression of Indianapolis. After Xtern, 97 percent have a positive impression. “Xtern has the potential to change hearts and minds about Indy as a viable, entrepreneurial community,” says Merillat.
To give you the full view into Xtern Finalist Day, we took a video tour with Mike Langellier so we could share the experience with TechPoint Index readers and the community.
Brian Owens, Senior Director of Engineering at Carbonite, says, “I have been involved with the Xtern program for a number of years, and the program just keeps getting better and better. This year I was particularly impressed with the quality of the candidates and the organization that the TechPoint team put in behind the scenes to make the Finalist day such a successful event. We’re very excited about the 4 candidates that we’ve selected for Summer 2019.”