- Amid economywide tech talent challenges, AAA has partnered with universities to provide students with internships and for-credit opportunities while tapping a new talent pool, according to Shohreh Abedi, executive vice president and chief operations and technology officer at AAA.
- “We started initially very slow [with] just an internship program and fusing the interns into our R&D teams,” Abedi said during the Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo 2022 last week in Orlando, Florida. “Then we expanded with joint workshops with universities.”
- One of the biggest wins for AAA so far that came from intern involvement in projects is a new quote-on-demand feature, which lets members take a picture, upload it and receive an instant and accurate quote.
In the past, universities have invested in technology education and tapped companies for opportunities for their students, but the game is changing.
Amazon Web Services is a widely known example of this. The company has partnered with universities, including Howard University and Arizona State University, to boost tech talent specifically in cloud computing.
As the talent crisis continues, other businesses could start looking to tap the university talent pool in the same way.
AAA has partnered with the University of Michigan, Florida State University, University of Oklahoma, University of Central Florida, Georgia Tech, Kennesaw State University, Michigan State University and others.
For Abedi, partnering with universities has come with ease.
“When we approached a lot of the universities, a lot of them welcomed us because they want to be able to expose their students and give them experiences,” Abedi said. “And students are very much excited about engaging.”
The auto club has also brought in startups and strategic partners, hosted hackathons and engaged its community with tech-style “TED Talks.” The efforts are part of a larger initiative to attract and develop talent.