We are motivated to engage this work as part of a larger effort improve the abysmally low employment numbers for neurodiverse young adults.
Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) affect 1 out of 59 individuals, cost $137 billion per year in the U.S., and result in a staggering unemployment rate for adults that have the cognitive skills to contribute substantially to the technology workforce.
Over the course of 8 weeks, our interns work in teams fulfilling the roles of programmer, project manager, artist, tester, and designer with the aid of a peer coach to develop a research-based video game. They will develop their game from concept to production while communicating with their research clients. At the end of the program, interns present their accomplishments to the community, including industry partners and advocates, during a showcase event.
Our goal is to provide comprehensive workplace training in a supportive environment to enable individuals to thrive in tech occupations.
Each year we engage a group of 25 individuals who are underrepresented in the tech workforce–individuals with developmental disorders, specifically Autism Spectrum Disorders. The two primary criteria for admission are a strong interest in video game design or development applied to a research setting, and a longstanding personal understanding of autism spectrum disorders and living with neurodiverse conditions.
In addition, interns must be high school graduates; this includes those who are either preparing to enroll, are currently enrolled, have graduated from 2- to 4-year college or post-secondary training school, or are otherwise job seeking. Applicants must be 18 years old by the start of the internship program.
We are interested in eager, motivated learners with a wide range of skills and abilities. Candidates will be selected based on qualifications and interest in the program.
Interns will be expected to:
- Engage in their assigned role and project with their team.
- Be willing to learn, communicate, and engage in constructive collaboration with their interdisciplinary team, their coach, other members of the internship, and their clients.
- Work in a professional environment for 20 hours a week on the UC San Diego campus.*
- Attend and report during daily team meetings, weekly client meetings, Lunch & Learn events, and a final showcase to demonstrate the culmination of their project work.
Interns will gain:
- Experience in project-based work, allowing teams to gain knowledge of standard tech workplace practices and procedures.
- Productivity skills including time management, focused note-taking, and effective communication.
- Strengthened technical skills and exposure to workplace etiquette and expectations.
- Proficiency in constructing a resume and using network-building tools such as LinkedIn.
- Specific skills and familiarity related to different aspects of video game design and development.
Interns will receive a stipend for their engagement in the program.
*The 2020 Summer Internship Program was conducted remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Application Submission for the 2020 Internship is over.
Please contact us if you are interested in future internship opportunities!
CHECK OUT PREVIOUS YEARS OF INTERNSHIP!
2018 Internship | 2019 Internship | 2020 Internship