INDIANAPOLIS — Indy's top companies are collaborating on a first-of-its-kind virtual summer immersion program for more than 450 interns to encourage college students to choose Indianapolis after graduation.
Over the course of four weeks — through various digital platforms — interns will meet Indy, learn from Indy and give back to Indy.
"I think it still feels a bit strange after I have showered and coming to my living room then I'm at work," Ena Oru said. "I find that endlessly interesting."
Oru is interning at Eli Lilly, headquartered in Indianapolis, this summer, but he is not in town now because of COVID-19. Rather, he's working virtually and staying on campus as a student at MIT in Cambridge, Mass.
"I don't feel like I'm at a complete disadvantage," Oru said. "I think because of all these virtual platforms, like the one we're using right now, it's not that difficult to stay connected."
Starting Wednesday, Oru and 450 other interns at places like Lilly, Roche Diagnostics, Anthem and One America will be participating in Indyfluence — a four-week virtual program focused on attracting emerging talent to Indy after graduation.
"We have over 90,000 students that go to school every year in the state of Indiana and what happens is one to two years after graduation we are only able to hold on to about half of those students that are working in Indiana," Bridget Boyle, head of people and culture for Roche Diagnostics, said.
Interns are exposed to what central Indiana has to offer both personally and professionally hoping to bring more jobs to the Hoosier state.
"We want them to think of this as a vibrant, fantastic place with a lot of opportunity to grow their career as well as a place that's innovative, exciting and where they can make a difference," Liz Huldin, president of Catalytic Talent, said.
"They want to be able to envision what will it feel like to work at this company, what's the culture of the company, what will it feel like when I go out to eat, what kind of restaurant are there," Boyle said.
Indyfluence, hoping raising the profile of the city will help every company, big or small, attract the best talent.
"We have such a rapidly growing tech industry that we want people to know about," Boyle said. "Healthcare is huge here."
"We all really believe that we do better if we collaborate and then compete like heck once we have people interested in our market," Huldin said.