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Economics Major Joins Other Students in Tech Internship

May 23, 2018

Susan Hansen, University Communications, contributor

Five Florida State University first-generation college students, including one senior from the college, are spending their summer break working at top technology-based startup companies across the state of Florida thanks to the Tech Fellows program.

The program is open to FSU students in the Center for Academic Retention and Enhancement (CARE) program, which serves first-generation college students and is part of an effort to promote diversity in the technology sector. Students will intern at different business incubators across Florida, where they will be exposed to product development, entrepreneurship and ecosystem building. During the internships, they will gain hands-on experience in the technology industry by learning practices in entrepreneurship and innovation from Florida’s top investors and technology entrepreneurs.

Economics major Kevin Zhou will intern at Groundswell in Melbourne.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to explore and get amazing entrepreneurial and industry experience,” Zhou said. “I hope to gain an understanding across various industries because I aspire to become an entrepreneur.”

Zhou is already on his way to making that aspiration a reality. He has been working on developing his own online retail startup, where he will sell high-end streetwear.

“This program is a great opportunity to learn and research,” he said. “It's a wonderful way to explore the field and get hands-on entrepreneurial and industry experience.”

FloridaTech Fellows, which began in Summer 2016, is a partnership between the FSU Center for Undergraduate Research and Academic Engagement (CRE); Launch Florida, a coalition of Florida technology organizations, startup companies and innovation leaders; and local incubator Domi Station, which offers programs and resources to help entrepreneurs start sustainable companies.

“The Tech Fellows program provides CARE students with an unbelievable opportunity they would likely not have access to because of the high cost of moving and living expenses associated with a summer internship,” said David Montez, associate director for the Center for Undergraduate Research and Academic Engagement. “The students will get to work side by side with business leaders and entrepreneurs in some of Florida’s leading incubators and will be challenged to take the lead on projects of their own design.”

Other students in the program include information, communication and technology majors Fabuola Pierre, Demarco Lockhart and Mia Mercado and Isiah Parfait, a Spanish and business management major.

The application for the 2019 FSU Tech Fellows program will open in Fall 2018. For more information, visit this link.