Indy’s biggest day for tech talent grew by 35% and moved to the Convention Center
You’re probably familiar with the NFL Scouting Combine that puts a couple hundred draft-eligible players through their paces every year. It’s the ultimate job interview for college football’s top recruits. Now imagine those NFL teams are Indy’s top tech and tech-enabled companies vying for the best tech talent from around the country and you’ll start to understand what’s at stake during Xtern Finalist Day.
TechPoint launched the Xtern program—Indy’s ultimate tech internship experience for college sophomores and juniors—seven years ago, and this was the sixth Finalist Day event, which was held for the first time at the Indiana Convention Center. Out of nearly 1,900 students from 212 universities and 45 home states, a total of 209 students who passed the rigorous screening process were invited to Finalist Day. Sixty-one companies sent representatives from 103 departments, and they conducted 796 on-site job interviews in a single day.
“We’ve seen interest in the Xtern program increase every year, so we anticipated needing a bigger space to accommodate all the students and employers participating this year,” said Merillat Flowers, senior director of college-to-career programs. “Based on the number of students attending, we saw 35% growth this year over last year and we had already matched 139 of them with companies that want to hire them by the end of the Finalist Day event.”
The TechPoint team recruits at career fairs regionally on university campuses and nationally at major conferences right alongside Apple, Facebook and Google. The Xtern program, however, has become a national brand with fierce loyalty from unmatched ambassadors who vouch for the program to their peers and classmates. Xtern has essentially become a national recruiting process to find the top college-level tech talent for Indy’s tech companies. It’s a necessary burden that Xtern eliminates, making it easy for tech and tech-enabled companies in the Greater Indianapolis area to participate in and trust the TechPoint talent pipeline.
“I have been involved with TechPoint’s Xtern program and Finalist Day since its inception,” said Maggie Carter, human resources and office manager for Schneider Geospatial. “What I have loved most is seeing the program expand. From starting at DeveloperTown, then moving to the Biltwell Center, and now filling a ballroom at the Convention Center is incredible. This year I interviewed students to fill a sales and marketing role, my first time doing this through the Xtern program, and I was more than impressed with the candidates I met. I can’t wait to see how this program continues to evolve and grow even stronger in the years to come.”
Micaela Lane, talent management senior specialist at Cummins, said “This is our third year participating in the Xtern program and I am always impressed with the high number of top talent to interview at Finalist Day. This year was no exception with an even larger number of students and companies participating at the Indianapolis Convention Center. We are extremely excited about the candidates we’ve selected for summer 2020.”
Based on the most recent exit survey of TechPoint’s 2019 Xterns, only 30% percent of students had a positive impression of the Indianapolis tech community before they participated in the program. After their Xtern experience, 93% of the participants have a positive impression of the Indy tech community and 75% are likely to live and work in the city upon graduation.
“Our Xtern program is a real game changer for recruiting tech talent in Indiana, and the impressive results of Xtern Finalist Day highlight why local companies come back every year to access the top tech-skilled students we attract,” Merillat said. “We literally change hearts and minds about Indy as a desirable tech city and creating a reliable pipeline of talent that will drive the future of tech.”