Building Strategic Employer Partnerships for Arch Students

The Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has been strategically building partnerships with companies throughout the United States and globally to create a wide array of opportunities for students to pursue as part of The Arch at Rensselaer.

During The Arch, all students will spend a fall or spring semester of their junior year participating in an off-campus Individual Learning Experience (ILE), which could take the form of an internship or co-op, international or national opportunity (i.e., study abroad or study at another U.S. institution), or research, civic engagement, or self-designed experience.

This fall, 229 of the 464 students that were away chose to pursue an internship or co-op at one of the leading companies partnered with the CCPD. Students secured opportunities both locally, within the United States, and throughout the globe. Of the 188 positions secured in the United States, a majority were located in the Northeast (New York), Southeast (Florida), Midwest (Texas), and the West Coast (California). Of the 41 students who secured an international position, 33 were located in Asia, five in Europe, two in Bermuda, and one in Africa.

Notable domestic companies that Rensselaer students secured away opportunities with include Hasbro, ExxonMobil, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly, Disneyland Resort, Google, Collins Aerospace, Comcast, and Cisco Systems Inc., to name a few. Internationally, students gained experience at top companies such as BMW, Bosch, Oxford Instruments, Applied Materials, Deloitte, BIOS, and OSG Group.

“Our Employer Relations team has been strategically working directly with companies to discuss the benefits of expanding their experiential learning programs to include spring and fall semesters in their offerings,” said Philip Bruce, director of the CCPD. “This approach has produced a significant increase in the number and quality of opportunities available to Rensselaer students at large international organizations as well as domestic mid-level and startup companies.”

Bruce adds, “The experience students gain from these opportunities makes them highly employable at the time of graduation and provides them a truly unique developmental approach to education rarely found at the undergraduate level.”

To prepare for the 464 students who opted to be away during the fall of 2019, the CCPD generated 2,155 potential Arch away opportunities from January 2019 through July 2019. That is approximately 4.6 potential opportunities per student.

The CCPD has been amplifying their efforts in preparation for spring 2020, which will feature 558 students participating in an away semester. Since August 2019, the Employer Relations team has already generated 5,069 potential Arch away opportunities, more than doubling the ratio from fall to 9.1 potential spring opportunities per student.