student coaching program

University begins hiring its students to work IT

Hyland, too, reaps benefits from the partnerships. For starters, it helps cement the company’s relationship with OSU at a time when vendor competition is fierce. “The program certainly has enhanced the relationship between the two organizations because now there’s another set of common interests,” said Kieffer. “In my discussions with leadership at Hyland, this comes up a lot—and it comes up a lot with leadership at OSU.”

Second, some of these very same interns may return to Hyland as fulltime employees after graduation, bringing a unique perspective from the client side of the equation. “We saw an opportunity for students to be on the backside and the front side of the same product—to see it from a development perspective and then see it from a client perspective,” said Kieffer. “Being able to take a multifaceted view of a piece of technology is a huge advantage that students will bring to the table when they look for jobs after graduation—whether it’s at Hyland or somewhere else.”

Sam Yun, a student who worked as a software development intern at Hyland and now applies his knowledge of work flow at the OSU Student Services Center, feels the experience has definitely given him a leg up. “I’m not exactly sure where I want to end up, but I think working with OnBase both on the source code and on the customer side will help me in the future from an employment aspect.”

Given the initial success with the Hyland partnership, Kieffer is eager to expand the concept to other vendors. Unfortunately, he has achieved little traction to date. “We’ve been pushing these concepts in all of our large relationships, but we’ve not had as much success,” he said. “It’s much more difficult for some of these really large software companies to be agile in the way that Hyland has been.”

While company size likely plays a role in the success of a program like this, location may also be a factor. Hyland, for instance, is located just two hours from the OSU campus. From a student perspective, says Yun, proximity is a definite advantage. “The closer you are to home, the more students you’re going to have to work there,” he said. “Having that proximity opens up the gig.”

From a management standpoint, however, distance needn’t be an issue, according to Kieffer. “It’s more of a cultural thing than because Hyland is an Ohio company,” he said about the reasons behind the success of the internship program. “I think this could work well with a California company if the commitment and desire are there.”

As for the Hyland arrangement, Kieffer would like to formalize what is currently little more than a handshake agreement. “I want to make this program part of the attraction of working both at Hyland and in the OCIO,” he said. “I want to recruit students for the internship program knowing they would be good candidates to come back and work here. That’s important to me.”

Andrew Barbour is a contributing editor with eCampus News.