I’ll start by disclaiming that I work for a large company (2k+ employees) and came from a large university (40k+ students) and that my performance in no way affected the situation (if anything it should improve it, as I am the only intern [of many] from my alma mater to be offered a full-time position).
A few details: I am a software engineer and the internship positions are for software engineers. I did both my undergraduate and Master’s level work with this university.
I overheard a few managers discussing the hiring process during the intern hiring season, and they commented that applications from my school were being largely filtered out. They additionally said that they were primarily hunting for students from other schools A and B.
I intend to go back into an academic career soon and as an academic (hopefully future professor) I am a bit bothered that my school is being filtered out by recruiters at one of the biggest tech companies in the area. This is clearly a major negative statement towards the quality of the program from which I graduated. That being said, I don’t disagree with my company’s decision here. We have been burned by the quality of the interns coming out of this school a lot recently.
Having gone through the program myself, I see a few of the flaws here. Students are marketing themselves as programmers, but the school trains them as computer scientists (those within the field should be able to identify the difference). Students are coming out with only school experience, not personal experience. Students have no opportunity to become good programmers in an educational environment (no clubs or weekend programming groups, etc.).
I don’t want this major vote of incompetence marked on my school as it devalues my degree and more importantly, it devalues the degrees of all students from my university in arguably one of the most up and coming fields.
The question: what should/can I do about this? I want to email the university department and relay my thoughts and experiences, but I feel this is a breach of my employer’s confidence (this hiring preference is not public knowledge or “official”). Even if I were to email the department, I haven’t a clue what I would say, perhaps a better fleshed out version of the above?
I would love to offer advice to the university, but I am no administrator or curriculum designer, and I am sure that unprompted advice from a student who has only graduated 6 months ago would not be well accepted unless it was extremely well worded and thought out. And even then, do I have the credentials to make it past the school’s secretary?