USA summer externship on offer for I Wish STEM programme

That frequently over-used phrase — ‘the chance of a lifetime’ — will have genuine credibility for a pair of lucky Irish girls this summer.

I Wish, the movement dedicated to encouraging more girls to consider science, tech, engineering and math courses and careers, has joined up with global data centre leader, Park Place Technologies, to bring two Irish college students to Ohio, USA on a summer externship in STEM.

With the inclusive attraction of flights, accommodation, expenses and $500 spending money, it promises to be an experience of a lifetime.

“Girls tell us that they cannot be what they cannot see, and that has always been the driving force behind the I Wish events, which reached over 6,000 students this year,” said I Wish co-founder Caroline O’Driscoll at the announcement of the partnership with Park Place Technologies.

“Through showcasing careers in STEM and female leaders in this sector, students begin to understand the possibilities and opportunities of a career in science, engineering and tech.

The summer externship was the next natural step for I Wish, and we are delighted and grateful to Park Place Technologies and the IDA for their support in bringing this incredible opportunity to fruition. All I can say is, girls — apply today for this once in a lifetime experience in the USA!

Chris Adams, president and CEO of Park Place Technologies, said: “Encouraging more women into STEM has long been close to our hearts at Park Place Technologies. Having opened our new Operations Centre in Cork in November, we’re delighted to be the first to partner with I Wish to offer female students in Ireland the chance to experience what a career in technology can truly offer them. We can’t wait to meet the competition winners and welcome them to our offices.”

Since 1991, Park Place Technologies has provided a service-first alternative to post-warranty maintenance for storage, server and networking hardware.

“Supporting more than 304,000 assets in over 141 countries around the world, we consistently deliver an exceptional customer experience, superior service and an operational advantage to businesses ranging from government, higher education and healthcare institutions to cloud service providers, SMB and Fortune 500 companies,” Mr Adams said.

Park Place Technologies says it is always on the lookout for talented, driven individuals who want to become part of a winning team and a growing organisation. It is an equal opportunity employer with a service-first philosophy.

“I’m delighted to share this innovative initiative that shows how serious Park Place and I Wish are about fostering STEM ambitions in Ireland’s young women,” Tánaiste Simon Coveney added in support of the externship programme.

It’s true testament to the STEM industry’s commitment — alongside our government — to fostering a better gender balance in the STEM workplace.

The 10-day programme will offer hands-on STEM work experience, engagement with expert mentors and the chance to learn about related career opportunities at the Park Place facilities.

“Globally, we are witnessing a time of unprecedented technological advances that are affecting most aspects of our lives and nowhere is that impact more obvious than in the job market,” says Professor Brian MacCraith, president Dublin City University and chair of the STEM Education Review Group. “Research shows that most jobs in the market today didn’t exist 20 years ago, and it is predicted that up to 60% of the jobs available ten years from now will be completely new compared to today’s situation. There are rapidly growing opportunities and needs for women in STEM careers, and we need to encourage young women to achieve and lead in those roles.”

Send applications to iwish.ie for the two-week externship. Closing date is April 22.

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