Employers & Communities
Home to Texas™ facilitates the return of undergraduate students to their hometown communities for summer internship and research opportunities.
In summer 2023, Home to Texas will expand to dozens more communities thanks to a generous grant from Arnold Ventures and a research collaboration led by Drs. Becky Pettit (College of Liberal Arts), Tauheeda Yasin (College of Liberal Arts), and Brent Iverson (College of Natural Sciences). The research project will focus on judicial decision-making across Texas and will be supported through data that Home to Texas students will collect throughout the program.
Below is a current list of communities that we hope to have Home to Texas students in this summer, including pilot programs in some of the state’s metropolitan areas. Employers in these communities are encouraged to complete this short application to express interest in hosting a Home to Texas intern this summer. It is possible that we will be able to expand the program into additional communities at a later date, so employers from any Texas community are welcome to apply in case an opportunity to participate becomes available.
- Big Spring
- Cedar Hill
- Del Rio
- Eagle Pass
- El Paso
- Fort Worth
- La Grange
- La Grulla
- Little Elm
- Missouri City
- Port Arthur
- Round Rock
- San Antonio
- Wichita Falls
Become a Home to Texas Employer or Community
Apply here to tap into UT talent.
Priority application deadline: Friday, February 3, 2023
Employers who apply after the priority deadline will be considered if space remains in specific communities.
Types of Opportunities
Students participating in this program have diverse career interests and are open to a variety of internship opportunities at for-profits, nonprofits and government agencies. Likewise, students are interested in a multitude of internship functions across these industries.
Students who participate in this program are finishing up their first year at UT, and because they are early in their degree program, they may not have their career/major decided (or may change their mind later). As such, we are primarily looking for internship experiences that expose students to broad professional development skills like office communication, project management, general professionalism, etc. We also aim for interns to learn the ins and outs of your organization – some interns have even discovered a career passion through these internships. Who knows, you might be training a future colleague.
Internships should have a clear learning component. While the student will support your organization, students should not spend significant time on administrative or non-professional projects. We encourage employers to meet with the intern early on about their goals and to tailor the internship based on those goals where possible. Due to the developmental nature of an internship, students should be assigned a supervisor within your organization and have regular check-ins with that supervisor.
Paid or Unpaid
Employers may offer paid or unpaid internships associated with the Home to Texas program. Over time, we aim to increase the number of paid internships in order to sustain and grow the program.
Interns should work a standard 8a-5p or 9a-5p schedule for 40 hours per week, with limited evening or weekend hours. The internship should run Tuesday, May 30 through Friday, July 28. Employers are welcome to work with the intern to set their hours, but in general interns should be working typical weekday hours.
Each intern in this program receives a $5,000 scholarship or is placed in a paid internship. The University of Texas at Austin has provided more than 80% of the scholarship cost during the inaugural years of the program, and we will request greater funding from employers and communities moving forward to make this program sustainable. If you would like to donate to this program, you can do so here.
Employers can help sustain the program by offering paid internships to students, preferably at an hourly wage that results in a summer total of $5,000 (post-tax) for the intern. Students who earn less than $5,000 for the summer will receive supplemental funds from the Home to Texas program.
Through the employer application that you complete, we will learn about your organization, industry and opportunity in order to make the best match based on the student’s interests, skills and hometown location. The matching component of this program typically takes place in March.
Why should I host a Home to Texas intern?
Beyond the short-term benefit of having extra help during the summer, this program connects your organization with UT Austin and our blossoming talent pool. In addition, you will be working with a hometown student who will be exploring their community in a new, wider lens compared to when they were growing up in the area. After their Home to Texas experience, many students express a newfound appreciation for how much goes on behind the scenes within the community, and they start to imagine what a life in their hometown might look like. Of the summer 2022 student cohort, 90% indicated that the experience had an effect on where they would consider launching their career after graduation. The Home to Texas program has the potential to plant a seed that will attract talented UT Austin graduates to your community – and your talent pool – in the years to come.
Can a first-year student be an effective intern?
Employers are sometimes skeptical about hosting a rising sophomore who may not have much previous internship experience or a major that aligns with their organization’s work. However, the feedback we’ve received from employers is that they are impressed with the skills and motivation of these UT Austin students. In our feedback surveys from recent years, several employers indicated that their intern was able to complete projects that were typically only reserved for permanent, full-time staff.
Is there anything I need to know about compliance?
As with any intern, employers should consult with their organization’s human resources department to ensure compliance regarding benefits and unpaid or paid internships.
May we hire the student to work for us for additional weeks in August?
Many employers have done this, and that arrangement would be managed between the employer and the student. Some employers have even invited their interns to continue to work remotely during the school year, or to return to work during holiday breaks.
Why are Home to Texas students required to do community research? What does this have to do with the internship?
Research is another program component that allows students to increase their connection to their hometown. Through this work, students will become more familiar with the economic and professional landscape and the people served within your organization’s community. While we encourage students to conduct their interviews with community members outside of business hours, scheduling may make that difficult, and a student may ask you if they can conduct some of the interviews during business hours.