Local College Students Intern at Brooklyn Tech Companies

The interns make a gruop visit to the New York City offices of Facebook. Photo courtesy of SBS.

September 3, 2013 - This summer, students from New York City College of Technology were given the chance to intern at digital companies as part of the Brooklyn Tech Triangle Internship Program. Launched in June 2013 to address the growing tech sector in Brooklyn and the need for talented web programmers, designers, and engineers, the program connected 28 New York City College of Technology (City Tech) college students to technology and advanced manufacturing internships at 18 organizations throughout the Brooklyn Tech Triangle.

The interns participated in a weekly Tech Entrepreneurship series, which included a curriculum to teach them what it takes to start and run a tech firm, as well as site visits to tech companies throughout New York City, including Facebook, Kickstarter and AppNexus.

The Department of Small Business Services partnered closely with the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, City Tech and the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, including NYC Digital, to operate the program.

At companies like Impact Simulations, which develops games that help companies improve their employees’ performance through fun activities, interns like Donald Cherestal, a computer systems technology major, was given hands on experience to work on presentations and app prototypes.

“Donald is a star!” said Stuart Silverman, founder & CEO at Impact Simulations. “Not only did he find a potentially huge data breach possibility in our software, but he figured out how to connect all of our computers to the networked printer at the incubator - something that baffled all of us so much that we avoided printing.”

Jennifer Ramos interned with BLDG BLOK, a startup based in DUMBO that aims to let New Yorkers narrate their past through historic photos, articles, and film footage. Through her internship, Ramos was able to combine her background in design with her love for history.

“We really wouldn't be as far along with our design development if it weren't for having Jennifer Ramos aboard this summer,” said Liz McEnaney, co-founder of BLDG BLOK.

Other employers that were matched with interns who possessed specific skillsets agreed that the program was successful both for the startups and the students.

“Counter-intuitively, taking on interns can actually mean taking on a lot of extra work,” explained Benjamin Samuel, editor at Electric Literature. “Someone must manage, someone must train them, and somehow funding must be allocated. But the internship program…provided us with interns that were a true asset to our company.”


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