“We really enjoy showing interns what a job is like and what working in the industry is like,” said Erin Moore, Hiring Coordinator at Punch Through Design. For several years, Punch through has acted on this enthusiasm and consistently hired computer science and engineering students through the SciTech Internship Program, giving interns that crucial exposure all while helping their small company grow.

When it comes to internship success, as well as future employee retention, one of Punch Through’s goals when hosting an intern is immersion within the team.

“Here they weave training in with the tasks that we’re given,” said Computer Engineering Major Jessica Lilland. “I’m treated more as a team member which makes it a more authentic experience.”

Lilland was hired as an Associate Embedded Software Engineering Intern this spring. Having come from a previous internship with a large corporation, she was looking forward to seeing what the small company work experience was like.

Support and Structure
Punch Through Design primarily works in Bluetooth connectivity for a variety of products and applications. Lilland was assigned to a medical device project, which involved learning new coding languages, working with firmware, C++ and the opportunity to frequently put her problem-solving abilities to the test. Debugging the code and completing her first ticket, Lilland said, felt like a great accomplishment. 

When hiring interns, said Moore, “We’re looking for curiosity. Jess had that, as well as a great personality. When we find good female candidates like her, we want to elevate them and help them succeed.”

That level of support really stood out to Lilland. From day one, Punch Through assigned her two people to turn to for questions and problem-solving. That way Lilland had both a “buddy” and a mentor to collaborate with if she ever needed help.

“I have been super impressed with everything at Punch Through,” Lilland said. “The collaboration, the team spirit, the company culture. This internship is more like a job and the company is more like a family.”

By providing such a supportive work community, the team at Punch Through is making an impactful impression on Lilland and achieving what they set out to accomplish.

“We hope our values and culture will help Jess continue to grow,” Moore said, “and help her advance in her career.”