A one-of-a-kind externship – RISE
In June 2023, four (4) local Idaho tech companies joined forces to host a cohort of high-performing Idaho high school students in a one-of-a-kind externship program called RISE. The mission of RISE is two-fold. First, to teach students about the inner workings of a company to better help them make more informed career choices upon graduation, and second, to introduce rural and urban students to different companies in the Treasure Valley so that when they make decisions about where to work after graduation, they will choose to work in Idaho.
In this first pilot program, the innovative companies that participated in the RISE program were; Simplot, Tracer, Clearwater Analytics, and Cradlepoint. The program’s structure was as follows: Ten (10) Idaho students from high schools across the Treasure Valley and rural high schools were selected for this prestigious program. Each company was responsible for hosting the ten-student cohort for one week and, in particular, responsible for developing and implementing its curriculum for its hosted week.
The companies each bring their unique curriculum, DNA, and culture to the program, which makes this program so exciting for the students. For example, given its focus, Simplot provided practical know-how on innovation in plant nutrition and food processing. Clearwater Analytics taught students about its innovative accounting solution and trusted investment data, accounting, and reporting technology. Cradlepoint provided students with an understanding of innovative cloud management with software-defined technology and unified edge security. Finally, Tracer taught students about the basics of intellectual property rights, online brand protection, and practical information on the anti-counterfeiting and anti-phishing technology being implemented to help brand owners.
An Introduction to Brand Protection
Tracer worked with the International Trademark Association’s (INTA) Unreal Campaign as part of its one-week curriculum. Christy Coates from Chestek Legal presented to the students on behalf of the Unreal Campaign and provided the students with a dynamic presentation on the importance of a brand’s intellectual property and the negative impact of counterfeiting on a brand. The students received the information well. They were actively engaged in the discussion, including how to detect counterfeit products on online marketplaces. Tracer also created a pitch competition for the students and divided the students into teams of three. Each group was required to come up with an idea, implementation of this idea, and a slide deck presenting the idea in a week and a half for a group of judges.
Educating and Empowering Idaho’s Future Professionals
But, more importantly, the practical and academic education these students receive during this 30-day program period goes far beyond a simple tutorial on the different markets in which the companies are doing business.
Specifically, the students are educated in a host of other areas, including but not limited to resume writing skills,
starting your own company, job hunting tips, basic accounting skills, and much more. This is the program’s first year, and it will continue again next year. The program executive committee members will continue to remain available to the outgoing students for any career assistance and guidance that is needed in the future.