With the 2021 Xtern program having come to a close, we take time to reflect on the unique summer internship experiences of 150 top performing college students from across the country. These promising young tech and business skilled students have overcome many challenges during the past year-and-a-half, and have now come out of their 10-week internships in the Indy and Muncie tech ecosystems better prepared to move into full-time roles as tech professionals.

Five members of the Xtern Class of 2021 were nominated by their internship employers and chosen by TechPoint for exemplifying the Xtern values of gratitude, inclusion, growth, investment, and grit.

“Our Xtern values represent the attributes future tech leaders should possess and that employers are looking for in the ideal intern,” explained Merillat Flowers, vice president and chief of staff at TechPoint. “These five core values of gratitude, inclusion, growth, investment, and grit are stressed within all of our talent programs, and we’re so pleased and proud to recognize these five outstanding individuals from this summer’s Xtern program.”

Listed below are the five core values honorees, including remarks from their internship employers as well as the Xterns themselves.

Gratitude – We are grateful for the opportunities and the incredible people surrounding us.

Jack Reynolds – Purdue ‘22, STANLEY Security

“Throughout the program, Jack has expressed a great deal of gratitude for the internship opportunity and the chance to work on projects that interest him. He has always shown the utmost respect for his colleagues, both in the Xtern program and within our team at Stanley,” said Jacob Schneider of Stanley Security. “It’s been a pleasure to come to work every day and interact with someone who shows passion for their work and is always willing to contribute ideas to help the team as a whole. To me, staying connected to the team and contributing like he has done shows one of the highest forms of gratitude for an opportunity. Overall, Jack is a fantastic person to work with who brought much needed insight to our team.”

Jack Reynolds
Xtern and Purdue Student
“For me gratitude is not being thankful for every opportunity, rather it is doing your best to fully utilize every opportunity given to you.”

“There is no greater thanks than to show you recognize the value of the opportunity given to you, and that you will do your best to live up to that value,” said Jack.

Inclusion – We welcome everyone and invite participants to bring their authentic selves.

Jaymee Stout – IUPUI ‘21, STANLEY Security

“Jaymee has the key personality tenets to succeed in design because inclusion and accessibility are principal thought patterns as opposed to afterthoughts,” said Julian Murphy of Stanley Security. “Jaymee openly encourages others to participate and considers all opinions without bias. Jaymee is a delight to work with, a true asset. I couldn’t think of a more apt person to be awarded.”

Jaymee Stout
Xtern and IUPUI Student
“In any profession, I believe being inclusive is important in making sure everyone feels heard and respected, which STANLEY Security promotes at all levels.”

Growth – We purposefully reflect on each experience to help us grow into our best selves.

Yiran Qi – University of California, Berkeley ‘22, Angi

“Yiran has taken any and all pieces of feedback provided by both myself and our team and immediately implemented it to the best of her abilities. I have never met someone that takes feedback so well and immediately tries to improve upon it,” said Trace Beatty of Angi. “She has also been extremely willing to jump in and learn brand new concepts and responsibilities. I have seen an immense amount of growth with Yiran throughout her time on our team. She started with little to no experience and is leaving this summer as a fully capable Product Manager.”

Yiran Qi
Xtern and UC Berkeley Student

Investment – We engage fully in the programs and seek to give back to the community.

Deandra Rodricks – University of Indianapolis ‘22, BlackInk IT

“Deandra seeks out ways to get involved at Blackink that are not just within her scope of work. She wants to live into the Blackink culture and add value in new ways,” said Cat Edmonds of Blackink IT. “For example, she is interested in learning more on the client engagement side of the business. Therefore, she has reached out to these individuals to learn more about what that looks like and how we do it at Blackink. Secondly, she has expressed interest in writing a few blog articles on different insights she has gained in her role. Deandra doesn’t see her role as only the job description, but views it as a way to invest in the company in various ways.”

Deandra Rodricks
Xtern and University of Indianapolis Student
“Being invested in my internship and the Xtern program resulted in a great summer. I’m thankful for the opportunities BlackInk IT presented me with; I was able to learn, advance, and give back to the industry.”

Grit – We work hard and excel in our contributions to the Indy tech community.

Zhiyuan “Zed” Wu – University of Minnesota ‘22, Angi

“Zed has consistently shown that he is not afraid to work hard and dig into the weeds of a problem,” said Jody Tooley of Angi. “He’ll frequently find small details that would have a big impact on the success of the overall project, and raises them up early on so we can make an appropriate game plan.”

Zed Wu
Xtern and University of Minnesota Student
“Failure is just success that hasn’t happened yet.”

“That quote on failure summarizes pretty well how I treat work in life in general.” said Zed Wu on his thoughts regarding Grit. “To me, taken separately, one addresses how we should look ahead and plan for the future, and the other how failure just means work-in-progress if you look at it a different way. Taken together, neither checkpoint of failure or success is the final state and there’re always more improvements to be made and more goals to achieve.”

Applications are now open for the Summer 2022 Xtern program. Learn more about the “ultimate tech internship experience” at techpoint.org/xtern.