Business Partnership Yields Dividends for Computer Science Students

Business Partnership Yields Dividends for Computer Science Students

Sometimes things just click. That’s exactly what happened with Capgemini and the College of Charleston.

When the Paris-based tech company saw a need to increase recruitment of local talent, Capgemini found a partner in CofC’s School of Sciences and Mathematics. That’s because Capgemini, a global technology services and digital transformation company with operations in more than 40 countries, recently set up its Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) in Columbia, South Carolina. ATDC is the company’s first center designed as a future-forward model for digital delivery with immersive experiences in digital, cloud, artificial intelligence, customer experience and emerging technologies.

From left: Justin Hull, Joe Greer, Carter Haley, Sebastian van Delden and Kaitlyn Flake, campus recruiter, ATDC. (Photos by Heather Moran)

With 200 employees at ATDC and plans to increase by another 300, Capgemini needed to expand its recruitment outreach. When Joe Greer, vice president of ATDC, went on a tour of the College with Sebastian van Delden, interim dean of the School of Sciences and Mathematics, he found more than he expected.

“Sebastian explained the COMPASS program to me and how it aims to connect students with companies before graduation so that getting a job immediately out of college is higher,“ says Greer. “His goals and ours are perfectly in sync.”

The COMPASS (COMputing Professionals And Student Scholars) program includes physical space at the College’s Harbor Walk campus, which houses the Department of Computer Science. And, as the lead COMPASS sponsor, Capgemini can use the room any time, in addition to other benefits. The company has already used the COMPASS room for student get-togethers.

“Our goal is to build relationships with students so that they are with us for the long haul,” says Greer. “We want students with diverse skill sets and a positive attitude, who enjoy collaborating and are capable of serving as strong Capgemini ambassadors.”

Meeting in a relaxed environment, like Harbor Walk, gives Capgemini the opportunity to connect with students and determine if they will fit into the company culture. Already two CofC seniors poised to graduate next month with the Class of 2019 will be joining ATDC: Carter Haley and Justin Hull.

“I went on a site visit with Sebastian van Delden and found ATDC to be a compelling work environment,” says Haley, a data science and economics double major. “Following my visit to ATDC, I applied to Capgemini via the Career Center’s Handshake interface; I then reconnected with familiar faces at the career fair before my first-round interview.”

Haley was then called for an interview in Columbia and received a job offer that evening. Greer says Haley was a natural fit. In addition to meeting him at ATDC and the career fair, he had seen him in action during the Capgemini-sponsored Hackathon at ATDC in Columbia.

Hull, a computing in the arts major, also attended the career fair and was invited for an interview the following day. He arrived with his portfolio of work, which greatly impressed the Capgemini team and resulted in another interview in Columbia.

“Working at Capgemini was appealing because it is a global organization and very fluid,” says Hull. “I also liked the community and how the team helped guide me through the interview process.”

Hull adds, “The interview was intense with personality tests, questions about what you can and can’t do, and a business case study. I liked the case study. It was like putting puzzle pieces together, and that was when I could see myself at Capgemini.”

Like Haley, Hull was quickly offered the job.

“They seemed genuinely interested in what I can bring as someone adept at computers and the arts,” explains Hull. “I like how Capgemini is about working together to create human interface technology and look forward to collaborating with a team for thoughts and interaction on where people can take technology and technology can take people.”

Van Delden looks forward to growing a relationship with Capgemini and continuing to help future CofC students join the Capgemini team.

“Our liberal arts and sciences tradition, combined with experiential learning and team building, fit perfectly with Capgemini’s cultural goals for its workforce,” says van Delden. “It just clicks.”


Featured image: Students Justin Hull and Carter Haley talk with Capgemini executives in the COMPASS room at Harbor Walk, a gathering space sponsored by the technology company.