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Bringing it Home Insitu Empowers Interns to Make Their Ideas Real

Written by Jennifer Henry

Accomplishment is empowering. It gives us experience to draw from when we face challenge. It teaches us about our potential, about what we do when we try. It gives us faith in our abilities.

Insitu, Inc., the world-class designer, manufacturer and service provider of the ScanEagle and Integrator unmanned aircraft system (UAS), empowers college and high school students through its internship program. By actively engaging them in substantial projects, not coffee runs, student interns have a chance to accomplish something at Insitu: They have a chance to make their ideas real.

Insitu views interns as prospective employees who continually infuse fresh talent and ideas into company culture. College interns partner with mentors and gain the full experience of working at Insitu by participating in activities such as corporate orientation, department meetings and performance reviews. They receive competitive compensation to assist with travel expenses and housing, so the program is open to the best talent in the nation regardless of financial background.

Many of the ideas that led to Insitu’s ScanEagle UAS amassing over 500,000 combat flight hours faster than any other tactical UAS came from the college students who traveled from all over the United States for an opportunity to make their ideas real in a small town in the Pacific Northwest.

Bringing it Home

With the tremendous success of the college internship program, Insitu saw an opportunity to help its local communities while increasing exposure to science and technology. Partnering with a handful of local schools, Insitu established its high school internship program. Unlike the more competitive college intern program, high school students apply directly to their schools, and schools select the candidate who could benefit the most from the program.

“As today’s youth lose interest in science and technology, tomorrow’s ideas may dwindle,” said Insitu Vice President of Sales and Marketing Ryan Hartman. “Through the high school intern program, Insitu is fortifying the foundation for future innovation.”

One high school intern reportedly decided to go to college because of the program. “That’s building the future,” said Hartman.

Paying it Forward

Insitu puts a fine point on giving back locally. In addition to company-wide calls to action, each summer Insitu organizes a community service activity for its interns, like painting a youth center.

Coupled with camping trips, movie nights and white water rafting, these activities instill the importance of connections, with each other and with each of our communities.

Rewarding Dedication

Insitu expects its students to work hard, to explore possibilities. And dedication is rewarded. Of the 237 interns who have matriculated through the program since 2006, 36 were later hired on as full-time employees.

“Our interns want to stay and we want to keep them because they are fully engaged. At Insitu, interns don’t watch, they do.” said Insitu Vice President of Human Resources Bill Freemel.

Currently, Insitu employs 55 student interns annually. Creative, innovative students and recent graduates with vision are encouraged to apply at