Akamai is led by the Institute for Scientist and Engineer Educators at UCSC
ACCEPTANCE AND PROJECT PLACEMENT: During the acceptance process, applicants are carefully matched with a project and a mentor who will supervise them during their 7-week project. (See where Akamai interns work.) Mentors have identified essential skills needed to do the project (which are used to match interns to projects), and expect to provide on the job training for many other skills. Applicants who are accepted are sent an offer that includes the internship site and project, as well as information about housing and transportation, and have a short period of time to confirm that they will participate in the program. Applicants are invited to ask questions about the site and project during this phase. Once applicants have completed their acceptance package, they are introduced to their mentor via email to get oriented to their projects.
PREP COURSE*: Prior to starting work on the project, all interns complete a 1-week residential intensive (and fun!) preparatory course at University of Hawaii Hilo, on Hawai‘i Island. All interns are provided housing and meals. Akamai covers airfare to Hilo if needed. During the prep course interns meet the other interns and Akamai’s dedicated staff and team of instructors, who work with interns and mentors throughout the program to ensure a high quality experience. By the end of the prep course, interns feel prepared for working at their site and have made friends and connections that will support them throughout the summer and beyond.
INTERNSHIP PROJECT AND SITE*: After the preparatory course, interns go to their internship site location where they will complete their project and become part of the work environment. The project addresses a real need identified by the host organization, and will be a valuable training experience for the intern. If housing is needed, interns are provided with housing (usually double occupancy with another intern), and provided with a transportation allowance if needed. They work approximately full-time on their project, meet others who work at the site, and may visit fellow interns at other sites during the summer.
CO-MENTORING BY AKAMAI STAFF: Akamai’s experienced staff team works closely with mentors and interns to ensure the best possible experience. Interns stay connected to Akamai program staff through weekly meetings with communication assignments, and receive coaching on communications skills. Half way through the summer, Akamai staff visit interns, and interns give a mid-point presentation to the staff team which serves as practice for the final symposium at the end of the summer. Akamai staff keep tabs on each intern-mentor pair, making sure that interns’ experience is high quality and that the mentor is satisfied with the project.
STIPEND: Interns are given a stipend of $3300, and are provided housing if needed, along with travel from home island to internship site. Interns will need to pay for their own meals during the internship, except during the one-week prep course when they are provided.
POST-INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES: After completing the program, interns are invited back for occasional workshops, connected to job opportunities, and may apply for a second internship. Telescopes and local tech companies know that Akamai alumni have had excellent training, so often seek them for new jobs.