As part of H-E-B’s ongoing efforts to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace, the company continues to grow its innovative Neurodivergent Digital internships sponsored by its Disability Bridges program.
H-E-B launched its Neurodivergent Digital internship about five years ago to, as it says, “find talented, tech-savvy workers among a group that is often overlooked.” The internship is available to those who identify as being autistic or neurodivergent and are in a bachelor’s or master’s program with a computer science or computer engineering focus.
“We’re building a bridge that gives people a chance to reach their fullest potential,” said Samantha Moreno, H-E-B Disability Bridges program manager, in a release. “Our goal is to create a talent pipeline that helps people with disabilities overcome barriers and gives them the opportunity to achieve a meaningful career.”
Reanna Lauritsen, a current student at Trinity University in San Antonio, is the latest H-E-B Disability Bridge success story. Having spent multiple summers in the Neurodivergent Digital internship, the 23-year-old is about to launch her career with the company as a software engineer.
“I am on the autism spectrum,” said Lauritsen. “I’ve always had a hard time answering questions on the spot, so I always wondered how I was going to do in an interview, how was I going to get my foot in the door professionally.
“During the interview, they knew I was a little different and that was helpful,” she continued. “It made things much less stressful and easier. The internship was a wonderful opportunity, and I don’t think I’d be in as good a position now without it. H-E-B’s culture of ‘People Matter’ is something they take to heart. They help us grow our skillsets by developing our technical skills and our personal skills.”
Lauritsen is not the first former Neurodivergent Digital intern to land a full-time tech gig at H-E-B. It has been so successful that the company says it is looking at expanding internship opportunities through the Disability Bridges program for store and manufacturing/warehousing locations, pilot programs that started this year.
“The mission of Disability Bridges is to provide opportunities and remove barriers for partners with disabilities, optimizing their ability to contribute to their individual and H-E-B’s success,” says the company. “With recruiting partners educated on disability in the workplace, specifically as it relates to neurodivergent characteristics, support is provided for needs such as accommodations, coaching and mentoring.”
Those interested in a Neurodivergent Digital internship for next summer have until Oct. 31 at 11:59 p.m. to apply. More information can be found on the career section of H-E-B’s website.
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