For students, a key internship placement can shape their professional lives. For students whose lives are affected by war, conflict and uncertainty, landing an internship can mean investing in their future and having a safe haven in between the academic year.
The current war in Ukraine has affected almost every aspect of life for Ukrainians, even when out of the country. Approximately 1,700 Ukrainian international students must stay in the U.S. this summer, unable to travel home from their universities. In addition to the stress of war and thinking about their families, now they must also think about their next moves in the US.
Tech Companies Here to Help
AEye CEO, Blair LaCorte understood the need to provide support for Ukrainian students, as well as the importance of internships for career-launching development. Marrying these two ideas, LaCorte started a paid internship program for native Ukrainian students in the US for the summer.
As an automotive software company, AEye focuses on all-around safety across their entire business model. With this in mind, LaCorte understood the vital necessity for the Ukrainian students to feel and stay safe and secure during this scary and trying time. According to ABC News, AEye also found temporary housing for their three Ukrainian interns, helping ease some of the unpredictability that comes with being away from home.
Connecting Businesses and Students Through Tech
Upon hearing about AEye’s efforts to uplift Ukrainian students through their internship program, Columbia student, Will Hoppin created a database called Ukrainterns aiming to create a similar impact. Hoppin compiled a variety of companies interested in participating in an internship scheme from Ukraine and uploaded a LinkedIn pageas a method of promotion.
This mutually beneficial resource requires students to fill out a Google Form, outlining their current situation as an international student in the US. After uploading their resume and explaining their academic path on this form, the platform places the students in the most relevant internship according to their field of interest.
Businesses complete a similar Google Form, covering all areas of importance including company basics, internship details and housing stipend information. After reviewing these companies, Hoppin and his team of fellow college students help with the matching between the potential interns with the perfect businesses.
For the past years we have been realizing how the advancement of social media, technology and digitization can support those fleeing from adversity. Platforms can serve as a tool to speedily hire and provide opportunities while helping those impacted to grow professionally and support themselves financially.
In times of trauma and war, small and big companies alike can show their support for the people affected through providing meaningful working experiences to those who need it.