Increasing our Commitment to Higher Education: University Relations Program
by Chris Hartigan
Career services offices at colleges and universities understand the significant value that internships have when it comes to helping their students find jobs. Simply, as this Forbes article points out, internships offer as direct a path to a full-time job offer for college graduates as does any other pursuit. In fact, according to the survey backing up this article, college interns have a 7 out of 10 chance of being offered a full time job by the company they intern with. So clearly internships are great for students but they’re also great for colleges and universities. At a time where there is heightened scrutiny on the value of an education, pointing to credible employment statistics can only help institutions position themselves favorably with current and future students. But it also goes without saying that internships are incredibly valuable to the companies that offer them as well. Recruiting and hiring is an expensive (and of course imperative) investment that companies of all sizes have to commit themselves to and anything they can do to increase the odds of getting a positive return from that investment has a huge benefit. If 70% of all interns are attractive enough to make full time job offers to then the cost to companies of internship programs is relatively short money.
For all these reasons it’s great that Acquia has recently committed to building out a formal University Relations Program that will work in partnership with many of our college and university clients to provide meaningful internship, co-op and entry-level opportunities for their students. As the clear leader in the market for delivering Drupal-based digital solutions to colleges and universities we certainly have a strong foundation from which to launch this program and a very wide resource pool to draw from. Currently Acquia works with over 500 colleges and universities around the world, all of whom have made commitments to the same Drupal and cloud-based technologies that we are building upon and delivering to the market. Drawing students out of these environments and having them help construct the roadmap of technologies that the very same clients will be using to support their own digital strategies is an example of a symbiotic partnership that we will all benefit from. But the most successful outcomes may be for the approximately 30 interns and entry level students that will come through this program in the first year and be launched into a career with nothing but upside. And over time we're expecting that number to grow dramatically!
Our new University Relations team, led by Andrea Dropkin, is currently reaching out to several Acquia clients to introduce this program and talk about the many benefits that it can bring. So for all our college and university clients (or potential clients?) we invite you to learn more about our University Relations Program and see if it makes sense for your institution to participate. Building on one of the central tenants of the open source Drupal community, we know that we’re all working together to build a community of success and this program is a very tangible example of our shared commitment.