In 2014 a group of Atlanta businesspeople launched a summer mini-internship program for students in between their first and second years of college. The program allowed students to spend a few weeks in the offices of several participating companies, so that they could learn about various careers as they decided where to focus their academic studies.
As people heard about the program, people stepped up to recruit companies to participate in a similar program in Norfolk/Virginia Beach and Charlotte. When COVID hit, we had to decide whether to pause the program or go virtual, and chose the latter, which allowed us to grow the number of participating companies and students significantly, while shortening the company presentations to an hour. For the last few years, the program has been a mixture of virtual and in-person experiences, a mix we are continually fine-tuning.
Why we do it
The motivation to build the program comes from our shared experience of career as a force for good. It’s a big part of our lives, often the biggest part after family and friends. If you find the right path (and get lucky), it can mean doing work that’s interesting and rewarding with people you like and respect. The wrong path is hard, frustrating and demoralizing. The purpose of the program is to give early college students their first sense of what some of the right paths for them might be, so that they can dig deeper through classes and internships and ultimately first jobs. It also offers the beginnings of a network of people who can help along the way.
Program Admission Criteria- we are looking for students who:
- Are eager to learn from experiences, both their own and others’
- Actively seeks out opportunities to learn from others, and is good at it
- Have a track record of learning by doing, rather than by memorizing
- Are comfortable participating actively in groups and drawing out others
- Can create good outcomes in situations without direction or rules
What does the Introships name mean?
Introships is basically a introduction to a wide variety of career paths. It doesn’t offer internships, but is a way to figure out what kinds of internships (and jobs) to get in the future. So Intro Ships!