Jackson State University students Jordan Hubbard and Anthony Gomes in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET) in February participated in Apple’s second HBCU Scholars program, where they learned about the company’s culture, ecosystem and community while visiting headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.
Apple, in partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), launched the initiative to provide opportunities in the tech industry for students and enhance engagement with faculty on HBCU campuses.
An internship later this school term will allow them to gain practical experience.
After the trip to Cupertino last month, Hubbard, a senior computer engineering student, called the experience engaging and delightful.
“One of the best things was the love on the Cupertino campus from all associated with Apple; the camaraderie was excellent, too. … Everyone there is free to express themselves and suggest new ideas, which play a big part in the growth of the company.”
Hubbard, a Jackson native, said he would love to work for Apple after graduation or any organization that would allow him to push a company forward. “I’m casting my net pretty wide to explore and weigh options,” especially with an emphasis on software development.
Gomes, a computer science student slated to graduate in December 2017, said he was honored and thankful to be selected as a scholar.
He described the opportunity as “an amazing learning experience.” Furthermore, he said, “It’s equivalent to a dream come true for any computer science or engineering student.”
The native of Dhaka, Bangladesh, said, “The first aspect of Apple that really impressed me was how they went about making new products and software. Their meticulous and innovative approach, dedicated toward giving the consumers the best experience possible, is really incredible.”
In addition, he said, “The level of job satisfaction of the employees and how motivated they were are really outstanding. Everyone on the campus seemed excited, happy and eager to work for Apple. The work environment is very inclusive and no employee feels left out or irrelevant.”
Gomes said programming has always attracted his interest since he was a child. He started writing codes when he was 14. “I was always drawn by the problem-solving aspect of this discipline,” said Gomes, who also has written papers on data analytics, cloud computing and supercomputing and machine learning.
In May, the Apple HBCU Scholars will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through a paid internship. Upon returning to school for their final year, students will receive scholarship funding to complete their education, as well as continue their experience with Apple as TMCF ambassadors for the program.