Generation USA Internship Program Gives Businesses a Competitive Advantage
Funding support from management consultants McKinsey & Co. helps new workers gain training, experience, and connect with employers seeking diverse workforces.
Peace Ntaganzwa was looking for a way to launch her career. DUKE.AI, developers of an SaaS platform for transportation companies, was looking for talent. Generation USA brought them together, with support from the management consulting firm McKinsey & Co.
Generation USA is a nonprofit organization–part of a global network with 7,000 graduates in the US–that transforms education into employment systems to prepare, place and support people in otherwise inaccessible careers in tech.
One of those partners is DUKE.AI, an end-to-end, AI-based document processing solution for the trucking industry. CEO Marcus Cooksey said working with Generation USA is a relationship that connects companies with talented people they often cannot identify or reach.
“It’s not just one of those things where you sign a piece of paper and say, ‘We have a partnership.’ I see that all the time,” Cooksey said. “It’s the active involvement from Generation USA that has allowed us to grow in our company and in the talent pool that they’ve provided. Partnering with Generation USA has become a competitive advantage for DUKE.ai.”
In 2020, Generation USA partnered with DUKE.AI to offer a paid data scientist internship. The goal was to provide learners access to the tech field, helping further close the opportunity gap for the students Generation USA serves.
Peace Ntaganzwa graduated from Generation USA’s Web Developer bootcamp program and used Generation USA’s Handshake system to find the DUKE.AI internship. There, Ntaganzwa learned the versatile Python programming language and how to use it to automate tasks and generate data.
“I’m thankful for the experience. It unleashed my potential to run,” Ntaganzwa said. With the skills and experience from the internship, she landed a full-time position as a quality development engineer at Amazon.
The Generation USA internships would not be possible without support from McKinsey, which provides funding for internship stipends. The stipends provide a living wage, allowing the interns to take part in the program and benefit from their experience.
“These internships are really meant to serve as a bridge towards accessing higher-wage, high-growth job opportunities,” said Esther Hong, career advancement manager at Generation USA. “McKinsey’s support has made a great impact for us and for graduates to date. Over 200 graduates have completed an internship, and we’re hoping to have over 300 to complete an internship by the end of the year.”
Internships align perfectly with Generation USA’s mission of benefiting both workers and employers. Generation USA graduates increase their skills and their confidence through experience in the workforce. Internships give graduates an edge in seeking jobs, from both the work experience and the referrals from the people they work with—the first steps toward building a network of connections.
“Employers also benefit by gaining access to a diverse workforce, a talented workforce,” Hong said. “And as with all internships, it allows them to check out talent that they might want to hire on permanently, which we’ve seen several internship providers do.”
To learn more on how you can support learners like Peace and our mission, visit usa.generation.org/ChangeForGenerations2022.
Generation is a nonprofit that transforms education to employment systems to prepare, place and support people into life-changing careers that would otherwise be inaccessible. The global pandemic has led to an unprecedented surge in unemployment. Even before the pandemic, more than 75 million young adults were out of work globally and three times as many were underemployed — and 375 million workers of all ages needed to learn new skills by 2030. At the same time, certain jobs remain in high demand and 40% of employers say a skills shortage leaves them with entry-level vacancies. To date, more than 38,000 people have graduated from Generation programs, which prepare them for meaningful careers in 14 countries. Generation works with more than 3,900 employer partners and many implementation partners and funders. For more, visit usa.generation.org.