By Gene Stowe
Recruiting undergraduate talent is difficult. At the same time, many students have trouble finding the right company. Two students though may have found the solution. Their new, student-led program, ProMazo, matches companies with students who work virtually for organizations during the academic year. The program has secured IBM as its first partner, and is working on a project this fall with students from the Colleges of Engineering, Science and Business.
Senior Brett Hummel, an Applied Mathematics major, manages the program, which is a division of the Student International Business Council (SIBC). He developed it with junior Max Brown, Director of Academic Affairs, Student Government.
Each semester, ProMazo works with partner companies to develop six or twelve week projects for Notre Dame students and is exploring partnerships with organizations from Fortune 500 businesses to start ups and non-profits. At the end of each engagement, the student and company can decide to continue working together or explore additional projects with other companies and students. This flexibility allows both parties to find the best fit, and once identified, potentially develop a multi-year relationship between the job candidate and potential employer.
While the program is open to all students, “ProMazo is meant to augment the excellent services Notre Dame already offers,” Brown says, “and will assist students from lower income backgrounds, who must hold a paid semester position, or those who have learning disabilities and have previously encountered obstacles in their professional development.”
ProMazo’s virtual, results-oriented approach prepares students for the workplace of the future, while elevating Notre Dame’s exposure to companies that do not traditionally attend campus job fairs. “Notre Dame students are qualified to handle any position but sometimes they don’t get a chance to compete for these jobs,” Hummel says. “At the same time companies, especially alums from smaller firms, want the high quality talent Notre Dame produces, but they can’t afford to send people out here to recruit. We think with this system you can export Notre Dame’s best product: its students, and along with it the Notre Dame brand, creating a win-win-win for companies, students and the University.”