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  • MITRE Allows Interns to Work Part Time From Campus

    February 19, 2018 | By NACE Staff

    A MITRE intern works from his dorm room on campus.

    TAGS: internships, operations, policy, program development, nace insights

    Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals

    For the past two years, MITRE has hired more than 300 new interns, while another 70 to 90 return to the company each year. MITRE primarily hires interns to work in areas that include software engineering, electrical engineering technology, data analytics, and cybersecurity.

    In addition, the company now allows some interns who completed a summer internship on site to work part time from campus. This requirement to work on site first ensures MITRE’s interns working from campus have already developed and feel a solid connection to the company, and understand its culture and practices.

    “We feel strongly that it's best for the students to develop that connection by working on site first and have that daily in-person interaction with the staff before working from campus,” says Angie Morris, MITRE’s student programs lead.  

    Depending on the business need, these part-time positions from campus could be for any of MITRE's internship positions.

    “We choose select interns who have exhibited high performance during their summer internship to continue to work for MITRE remotely from campus,” Morris explains. “If there's a business need, managers approach students at the end of the summer and discuss work requirements and expectations.”

    Furthermore, MITRE developed its Student Remote Work Standards agreement to formally cover its policies and procedures for working from campus.

    “[The agreement] reiterates the importance of accurate time reporting,” Morris explains. “It also addresses oversight of the work, and the care and protection of MITRE systems, technology, and other information while the student works from campus. It notes that interns, even when working remotely, are responsible for continuing to abide by all of MITRE’s policies and procedures.”

    As part of the agreement, the intern and manager meet regularly—usually via phone—to discuss the student's work log and performance. This, Morris says, can help both the intern and MITRE evaluate the success of the arrangement.

    Morris says that both sides benefit from the campus work program.

    “The interns can continually apply the theories and methodologies that they learn in their academic programs to help us tackle difficult problems that challenge the safety, stability, and well-being of our nation,” she says. “These students are bringing everything that they're learning on campus to our work; this is very valuable to MITRE.”

    Since this is the first year that MITRE has had this work arrangement, it’s still learning about potential challenges, such as work-from-campus students feeling isolated because they are separated from colleagues and management, or having a sense of project confusion and performance missteps without immediately available guidance from managers.  

    However, by requiring regularly scheduled meetings, MITRE managers and students can work through any issues, and changes in schedule and availability such as exams, sickness, and more.

    “It's clear that both students and managers need a solid understanding of roles, expectations, and results, and it's best to capture that in an agreement signed with the student,” Morris says. “By using the Student Remote Work Standards agreement, we will be able to more formally track those who continue to work from campus and see if this arrangement continues to [grow] and whether this impacts our student conversion rate.”