Quad internship offers real world experience for students

9 April 2019

Edna Newey

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    The rolling deadline to participate in Quad’s summer intensive program is approaching soon with an April 17 deadline.

    The Quad program has students from four schools work together — UCCS, Colorado College, Pikes Peak Community College and the Air Force Academy — to solve a business or community problem in Colorado Springs. This year’s challenges include entrepreneurship opportunities for local nonprofits and a model for affordable senior housing, according to the application for this summer.

    “We have students coming in from four different institutions and each of them brings a different perspective. When they come together to solve problems, magic happens,” said Chancellor Venkat Reddy.

    Quad’s setup is comparable to a consulting firm, inviting businesses to employ student groups to find innovative solutions to problems within their business. The upcoming summer intensive program is a four-week program where forty hours a week are spent within teams composed of the four schools.

    Students must apply to whichever project they would like to work on, which includes Venetucci Farms and Affordable Senior Housing Projects.

    Each team includes a dedicated faculty member from one of the collaborating schools and Quad faculty to advise and guide them in the course of their work.

         “When you enter a workplace, you don’t really have a safety net to catch you if you fail. We want to offer a safe place where mistakes can happen and people can grow from them without fear of retribution,” said UCCS alumni and Quad research fellow Sandy Fales.

    Last year, over 150 students applied to the program, and about a third of them were selected. Majors are not a qualifier for the program, though students are encouraged to utilize their skillsets in whatever project they are accepted.

    Community involvement and revitalization is highly emphasized. According to Reddy, reasons  that the program began was to help keep the talent of graduating students within Colorado Springs and to help encourage further growth. The results are to the benefit of students, businesses and the community.

    Within the program, students are able to create tangible real world solutions, start their own business, network with business owners and get the experience needed to thrive within the job market. Multiple students have been able to enter full time jobs after graduating with businesses that they connected with through the program. Fales is just one among such students.

    Fales graduated from UCCS last year as a sociology major. She has begun her own photography business, Wild Prairie Photography, in addition to managing small projects and running social media for Quad. Through her work, she was even able to attend the State of the State address by Governor Polis.

    “Be sure that your answers are well thought out and reflect what you want to bring to the program,” said Fales.

    Quad is the result of PPCC President Lance Bolton long standing invitation to the presidents of UCCS, Colorado College and the Air Force Academy to bring students together in a collaborative effort to better the Colorado Springs Community and help students prepare for professional work environments. The program first began in 2014 and expanded in the spring of last year.