Virginia Launches Data Internship Program


Virginia is looking for data interns. Governor Terry McAuliffe announced on Thursday that Virginia state government and the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business are launching a data internship program aimed at improving the service delivery of state government.

Governor McAuliffe has asked Virginia Secretary of Technology Karen Jackson and CIO of the Commonwealth Sam Nixon to lead the effort on behalf of the state.

The University of Virginia is positioning itself to be one of the major institutions involved in the development of Big Data in the US. CivSource reported earlier this year on the launch of its Big Data degree program. The Big Data Institute will be a cross-departmental research initiative aligning several parts of the university system, and will be a key part of the university’s strategic plan moving forward.

The internship program announced yesterday will bring in complementary efforts and include the university’s business school. In the program, students will look at ways to use data driven processes in organizations and the enterprise. At the end of the semester-long program, state CIOs involved with the work should come away with plans to improve government service delivery.

Participants will also have access to state government datasets that are already part of Virginia’s open data portal.

On Wednesday, the Governor held a town hall meeting with local technology innovators to learn more about what the state can do to support the technology economy and attract new business. The video conference connected seven sites around the Commonwealth, allowing the Governor and his team to gather input from a diverse group of entrepreneurs, academia, and other stakeholders on topics related to building the new local economy. The major discussion points included the need to fund early-stage and proof-of-concept research; the need to connect innovators, startup companies and research teams with high-caliber entrepreneurial talent and the recognition of a statewide culture of entrepreneurship.

“Making our Commonwealth the world’s best home to innovators and entrepreneurs is at the heart of building a new Virginia economy,” said Governor McAuliffe.