Eighth annual Xtern Finalist Day proves tech talent still thriving and competitive
Despite being forced to go virtual with Indy’s biggest day for new tech talent, TechPoint’s Xtern Finalist Day brought 200 of the most promising students from around the country face-to-face on screen with 44 leading tech companies from Indianapolis and Muncie, Ind. The NFL Combine-like experience is the ultimate job interview for up and coming tech talent, and more than half of them were matched on the spot, with more matches still to come for summer 2021 internships.
“Thanks to careful planning, hard work, and amazing support from High Alpha’s Spaces team and Markey’s Rental & Staging, we were able to pull off this feat smoothly,” said Joe Perin, talent program operations associate with TechPoint. “While we certainly hope that by the time we start planning for Xtern Fall Finalist Day 2021, the world will be COVID-19 free and we can come together in-person in Indy instead of online, it is wonderful to know that we can still put together an incredible experience for Xtern finalists and participating employers!”
Out of 2,035 total applicants from 222 universities and 43 home states plus Washington D.C and Puerto Rico, a total of 200 students who passed the rigorous screening process were invited to Finalist Day. Representatives from forty-four companies and 82 hiring departments conducted job interviews via the Spaces platform in a single day.
Learn more about Xtern Finalist Day in this Employer Partner Packet that includes a rundown of the agenda, activities, application process, interview process, demographics and more.
Senior Director of Talent Programs Merillat Flowers called attention to the demographics of this year’s Xtern finalists.
“Through deliberate outreach to women and minorities, we’re filling the tech talent pipeline in Indiana with the best of the best, and of course that is a diverse group of people from across the country,” Merillat said. “Everyone goes through the same rigorous work sample assessment scoring and review process, which is independently conducted by university faculty and industry professionals.”
The Xtern candidates who participated in Fall Finalist Day are 34% women and 49% non-caucasian, according to applicant self-identification. The program doesn’t set quotas or reserve spaces based on gender or race, but the outreach efforts have increased the diversity of the total applicant pool. While there’s always room for improvement, particularly with regard to participation from more women and Black applicants, so far the process has resulted in Xtern classes that are less dominated by white, male students and more inclusive of the best performing students regardless of gender or race.
“Growing the applicant pool by another 7% and increasing the diversity of the applicants during a global pandemic is something our team can be proud of this year,” Merillat said. “Plus with the expansion to Xtern Muncie for 2021, I think it’s safe to say that we’re eight years into the ’Ultimate Tech Internship Experience’ and we’re still finding ways to break new ground and offer our employer partners a tremendous talent advantage.”