In an ongoing effort to better connect Downtown Brooklyn’s 57,000 college students to the cluster of tech and creative firms in the area, twenty-eight students from New York City College of Technology’s School of Technology and Design, all of whom have completed at least the first half of their schooling, are now completing paid internships in over a dozen companies located throughout the Brooklyn Tech Triangle.
“The purpose is to link students from the school to local tech and creative companies in the area,” said Cristal Rivera, Director of Workforce Development at the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, which is managing the internship program together with partners at the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “And it also allows students to get real world experiences and connections to businesses that make them more marketable when they graduate.”
The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment sponsored the program, which includes a stipend for the interns, along with enrichment and hands-on education opportunities – and a chance for companies within the Tech Triangle to bring fresh, innovative talent into their workspaces. Participating companies represent a wide array of industry, from online publisher Electric Literature, based in Downtown Brooklyn, to recycled glass and cement manufacturer, IceStone, located in the Navy Yard, as do the students, ranging from those studying Arts & Advertising Design to Mechanical Engineering Technology.
“Our intern Donald is a star!” said Stuart Silverman, owner of Impact Simulations, based in DUMBO. “Not only did he find a potentially huge data breach possibility in our software, but he figured out how to connect all of our computers to the networked printer at the incubator – something that baffled all of us so much that we avoided printing.”
In addition to their internships during the week, each Friday, all of the students gather at the Brooklyn Navy Yard to meet with contracted partners, share their experiences, and brainstorm with one another about projects they are working on. The program encourages a great deal of camaraderie and crossover between the various businesses and their interns.
Plans to continue the program next year are already underway. For more information about the Navy Yard’s Employment Center, click here.