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Tech Data interns build out a company storefront at Enterprise Village

Margie Manning

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Tech Data’s Clearwater 2018 intern class with CEO Rich Hume.

Tech Data Corp. has its first presence in Enterprise Village, an economic education program in Clearwater, thanks to the company’s summer interns.

Tech Data (NASDAQ: TECD), a Clearwater-based IT distributor and the largest company in Florida, previously committed to participating in the program at the Stavros Institute. The 28 interns brought that commitment to life, the company said, designing and building out a Tech Data-branded room – Enterprise Village calls the rooms “storefronts” — creating a curriculum and developing all related content.

It was one of several activities for the Tech Data interns, who took part in a program that is being recognized as the “Student Workforce Initiative of the Year” by Tampa Bay Tech.

Tech Data has hired interns for 14 years, but the formalized and structured program launched in 2014. The 2018 class was made up of 28 interns, the largest group to date, who came from 18 universities. In addition to working at the corporate headquarters in Clearwater, some interns also worked in the company’s Tempe, Ariz. and Columbus, Ohio locations.

They worked in a variety of departments, including IT, finance and product marketing, learning professional skills in a corporate environment.

The interns take part in an executive speaker series, a roundtable discussion where they can ask a Tech Data executive about his or her career path and get advice on education and networking. They also participate in a Tech Data Toastmasters Club, building skills and confidence in public speaking and communication habits.

Tech Data student interns

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Tech Data intern Valerie Diaz and Tech Data employee Sarah Russell assist with layout and design in Enterprise Village.

Interns are assigned a group project at the beginning of the program that they have all summer to complete. This year’s group of students took the initiative on the Enterprise Village project, dividing the workload, troubleshooting around a tight timeline and communicating across three office locations, Tech Data said.

“This intern class met all their deadlines and delivered a final presentation that didn’t merely impress their colleagues, but sparked further interest in volunteering with Enterprise Village,” the company said.

Tech Data interns often return as company employees. More than eight out of every 10 interns has gotten a job or an internship extension at a Tech Data location.

Tech Data’s program is one of about a dozen being honored by Tampa Bay Tech at a Nov. 9 awards ceremony.

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