This year, University of Florida Innovation Station has driven growth in the number of UF engineering students seeking internships, and the pre-COVID number of companies offering internships in the Sarasota region. Ultimately, twenty-one companies, half of which are new UF Innovation Station internship program partners, offered internships to UF engineering students. Most importantly, the feedback from both students and companies has been overwhelmingly positive; more than 60% of the intern class have already received offers for full-time employment or repeat internships!

One local company, CACI International believes well-structured internships programs are key to building a talent pipeline. Headquartered in Arlington Virginia and with 19 office locations across three countries, CACI’s Sarasota office hosted five UF engineering students for summer 2020 internships. The CACI internship program prides itself on providing valuable learning experiences and attracting young engineering talent to the Sarasota area. Four of these 2020 interns have already accepted offers of employment with CACI for either repeat internships or full-time employment.

North Port High School graduate and 2nd year student in the Gator Engineering at State College of Florida program, Anthony Gravier participated in the CACI internship program this past summer. Studying electrical engineering and planning to matriculate to the UF College of Engineering in Gainesville within the upcoming year, Anthony shared, “I had the opportunity to work on real projects and with a team of professional engineers who were there to mentor me. I worked on new technologies, machine learning, and used researchers’ algorithms applying them to other databases to predict failure for hardware. I was able to apply concepts I learned in my calculus classes on these projects.” This is just one example of how summer internships are providing critical learning experiences in the development of young engineers.