Last week I went to the University of Illinois and interacted with 120 students in the Computer Science program. Fifty of them took a computer science aptitude test for me, and gave me their resume for jobs with Chicago tech companies.
ITA already identified at least 50 really, really bright students from U of I. the kind of kids that Microsoft and Oracle and Ebay are usually recruiting away to the coast long before Chicago area companies have a chance to grab them. We’re interviewing the best kids, and pre-screening them to pass along to some of our members.
Over the next couple of weeks, we’re doing the same sort of outreach at IIT, University of Chicago and Northwestern. In November, we’ll assemble the brightest from all four schools for another competition/test, where one of them will win $5000, and all of them will be connected with potential employers. We call this program ITA Fall Challenge.
We’re going to repeat this program again next year, expanding to other universities, and increasing the talent pool that we attract on behalf of Chicago companies. This is a real guerrilla-style effort, and it’s uncovering talent for our community in a very effective way.
We need sponsors to help us keep the momentum behind this program, and we would like to have companies to highlight when talking to the students. Sponsors to the program will get priority exposure to the students and the schools, and they will get first look at the brightest candidates that we identify.
This is a great program for our members and the community, and we’re excited to be rolling it out this year. If you would like to participate, please visit the Fall Challenge page on the ITA website.