Intel looks to community colleges

State’s largest private employer offers paid internships

For the first time ever, Intel is offering paid internships exclusively to community college students.

The thanks goes to Jen Miller, a computer instructor here at Clackamas Community College.

Miller kept asking her friend, Daman Oberoi, an employee at Intel, why the company wasn’t recruiting community college students.

“He said, ‘Well, that’s not how we do it; that’s not part of our program.’ And I said, ‘Well you guys should change your program,’” said Miller.

She kept asking until she got a yes. Oberoi visited Clackamas on Nov. 23 to tell students about the new program; ten paid internships will be offered to current community college students or community college students who have moved on to a four-year school.

Miller worked at Intel for 10 years and knows Oberoi through work there and school at the  University of Portland. She recruited him as an industry adviser for computer science, someone who could keep Miller aligned with the industry’s requirements so she can properly educate students.

Miller said that she was able to “bend his ear” and convinced him to work with CCC.

“I started talking to Daman about this last spring, trying to get him to understand that Intel is missing out on a lot of talent here because they’re overlooking the community college students when they look for interns,” said Miller.

“And he’s great, by the way,” said Miller. “He was able to convince Intel internally that they were missing out on a lot of talent from, not just CCC, but also PCC.”

On Nov. 23 in the Gregory Forum, Oberoi talked about the possibilities for students interested in computer science, physics, mathematics, chemistry, technology or engineering. Not many females attended the talk, with the majority being male students.

“I’m here to identify the best talent,” said Oberoi. “Intel is a lot more than just hardware. We don’t just hire a bunch of engineers or computer engineers and science majors.”

He reassured students that they don’t need a specific set of classes for this paid internship.

“That’s actually one thing about this community college internship program: I’m not recruiting to degrees, I’m recruiting to skill sets,” said Oberoi. “So even if your degree doesn’t align to what that internship is, but the internship sounds awesome to you, well then show me on your résumé what you can do and why you could be qualified for that.” “Obviously the goal of this then is to hire you, so when you apply, I choose the best qualified candidates and we hire you,” said Oberoi. “Then we train you. You get paid to learn.”

Interested students should be enrolled or have transferred from a community college, have a 3.0 GPA  and have a permanent right to work in the U.S.A. without sponsorship.

Matthew Bloemer, a 17 year old interested in mechanical engineering, said, “I think it would be a really cool experience. I’ve always liked Intel itself, its company. I don’t know if I can get it [the internship] this year because I am only 17. I have to graduate high school and all that.”

To apply, send your resume to  Oberoi at daman.oberoi@intel.com.

Daman Oberoi, an Intel employee, speaks about the internship opportunities for students in the Gregory Forum on Nov. 23.

Daman Oberoi, an Intel employee, speaks about the internship opportunities for students in the Gregory Forum on Nov. 23.

Photo by Katie Archer