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HP Summer Scholars Turn Cancelled Plans into Career Opportunities

Stacey Heiss
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As companies worldwide called off summer internships, we gave 1,300 students and recent grads a way to develop their tech and business skills.

Imagine starting to plan your future as an independent adult. You may be finishing your first year of college, or you have recently graduated. You studied, sacrificed, took risks, failed, and succeeded. You worked hard and it was exhausting, transformative, scary, and even a little emotional.

Just when things began to hit their stride, it all changed. A global pandemic. Who would have imagined? Classes were cancelled, and you were told to leave campus for your safety. In a matter of a few weeks, your world shifted. What’s next?

While companies around the globe were cancelling intern and special student programs due to COVID-19—leaving students without access to valuable professional expertise—HP launched the Summer Scholars program.

“We created HP’s Summer Scholars to help universities and students (particularly those of our own employees) at a difficult time,” said Chief Human Resources Officer Tracy Keogh. “It turned out to be a great investment in our future. It helped to increase our visibility at top schools and provided university and college students a chance to connect with experts in their fields and explore exciting career opportunities. Although we kept our paid summer internships, our goal was to provide more students the opportunity to have a virtual development experience to bridge that gap in their résumés.”

HP leaders kicked into high gear to develop a curriculum in just a few short weeks that would provide a foundational understanding of how a global business runs across the ecosystem, helping to open potential career opportunities our Summer Scholars may not have considered and give them a chance to bring their perspective to real company challenges.

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I caught up with a few of the 1,300 Summer Scholars who took part in this virtual, six-week, fast-paced program to find out about their experience.
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