Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

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Rensselaer Career Center Partners with Western Digital for Away Experiences

Rensselaer Career Center Partners with Western Digital for Away Experiences

December 3, 2019

The Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has been strategically building partnerships with companies throughout the United States and globally to create a wide array of opportunities for students to pursue as part of The Arch at Rensselaer.

During The Arch, all students must spend a fall or spring semester of their junior year participating in an off-campus Individual Learning Experience (ILE), which could take the form of an internship or co-op, international or national opportunity (i.e., study abroad or study at another U.S. institution), or research, civic engagement, or self-designed experience.

Many students choose to pursue an internship or co-op at one of the leading companies partnered with CCPD.

One notable partnership Rensselaer cultivated is with Western Digital (WD). Headquartered in San Jose, California, WD is an American hard disk drive manufacturer and data storage company. Founded in 1970, originally as General Digital, Western Digital has grown significantly. With over 72,000 employees across the globe, WD has consistently been on the forefront of innovation. Ongoing investigation topics include memory centric compute, non-volatile memory, persistent memory programming models, machine learning/artificial intelligence, zoned storage, and RISC-V.

Opportunities for students at WD include internships, co-ops, and full-time opportunities across both engineering and business functions. RAMP, the company’s summer internship program, helps students gain exposure to WD’s culture and career opportunities while working on real projects to help solve world problems. WD also developed LAUNCH, a program that helps students transition from life on campus to their career as a young professional.

“In addition, we partner with The Arch program at RPI to bring engineering co-op students into our offices year-round. No matter where students are in their education, we have an opportunity for them to explore,” said Kaisa Larson, university recruiting manager.

When asked why Rensselaer students are an appealing pool of candidates, Lily Liang, director, firmware engineering, said, “I’m impressed by the level of maturity they exhibit. They know what they want out of their internship and they partner very closely with us to realize that. Above all, they are also great communicators and bring great energy to the team that they work with.”

There are many reasons why WD is a great place to work. “First, is the never-ending innovation, along with the technological-learning opportunities available. At WD, we understand how important and fulfilling it is for innovators and engineers to see and observe how their work and contributions directly impact the end product. It is an ingrained part of our company culture to ensure that visibility happens for all engineering levels, from those very experienced to those who just recently graduated,” said Liang. “Second, is the work culture/environment. We have a friendly and warm community of partnerships working toward common goals. We encourage and train our people managers to tailor unique development plans for each member of their team. We also promote a culture of team bonding, mentorship, and healthy competition,” Liang adds.


Reeve Hamilton
Director of Media Relations and Communications

(518) 833-4277

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About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, 32 research centers, more than 145 academic programs, and a dynamic community made up of more than 7,900 students and more than 100,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include more than 145 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration.