MetroCrops believes in paid student internships. The company understands that part of its responsibility as a technology leader advancing the application of urban, high density, indoor (UHDI) growing requires trained and educated team members.
The founding partners of MetroCrops LLC are alumni of Northeastern University (Boston) and participated in the university’s five year cooperative education program. Their real-pay-for-real-work experiences served as the model for the MetroCrops’ paid internship policy.
In 2012 MetroCrops hired its first paid interns. These UConn College of Agriculture students were Agricultural Resource Economics majors. Their internships were funded by a grant from Connecticut Innovations. The students were trained by the MetroCrops partners so that they understood the principles of the research that MetroCrops is doing on the application of urban, high density, indoor (UHDI) growing.
Three of these interns worked on the market research taste test portion of MetroCrops’ Phase I SBIR project. The two other interns worked on building the first financial model for UHDI growing.
“When I interviewed for the financial model internship, I thought that I might be doing data entry. I was surprised to learn that I was expected to work on a team to develop a real, never-before-created model for UHDI growing.” (Financial Model Intern)
The data gathered for and included in the financial model were important elements in MetroCrops’ Phase II SBIR grant proposal.
“At our final work session the Market Research interns and the Financial Model interns were allowed to read part of the SBIR application sent to NIFA / USDA and were able to see where their work was incorporated into MetroCrops’ SBIR Phase II grant application.” (Market Research Intern)
These paid internships were a great success both for the interns and for MetroCrops. Once MetroCrops is established in its new research module in Bridgeport, the company will explore the potential for future paid internships for college students. Because of the extreme interest in MetroCrops’ advanced technology, future availability of internships will be limited and very competitive in nature.