Home » H-E-B’s Neurodivergent Digital Internship Provides Job Opportunities

H-E-B’s Neurodivergent Digital Internship Provides Job Opportunities

Lauritsen

Reanna Lauritsen just landed her first full-time job. A current student at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, the Houston native recently launched her career with H-E-B as a software engineer.

While she’s someone with a knack for math and logic, she struggles with communication, which has always been an obstacle she’s tried to overcome.

Even though Lauritsen is a self-described introvert, her battle with communicating stems from something deeper that she always feared could hinder her professional development.

Lauritsen
Reanna Lauritsen

“I am on the autism spectrum,” said Lauritsen, 23. “I’ve always had a hard time answering questions on the spot, so I always wondered how I was going to do in an interview, how was I going to get my foot in the door professionally.”

Lauritsen found her way to H-E-B through the H-E-B Neurodivergent Digital Internship, which is sponsored by the company’s Disability Bridges program. The internship is a steppingstone that provides opportunities in high-tech fields to individuals on the autism spectrum.

About five years ago, H-E-B launched the Neurodivergent Digital internship to find talented, tech savvy workers among a group that is often overlooked. While H-E-B has always made a point to nurture a diverse and inclusive workplace, this path gives the company access to skilled talent who otherwise wouldn’t be given a chance to follow their passions.

The internship is available to those who identify as being autistic or neurodivergent and are in a bachelor’s or master’s program with a computer science or computer engineering focus.

“We’re building a bridge that gives people a chance to reach their fullest potential,” said Samantha Moreno, H-E-B Disability Bridges program manager. “Our goal is to create a talent pipeline that helps people with disabilities overcome barriers and gives them the opportunity to achieve a meaningful career.”

The program’s success has produced several full-time tech gigs at H-E-B for interns. It has been so successful that H-E-B is looking at expanding internship opportunities through the Disability Bridges program for store and manufacturing/warehousing locations, pilot programs that started this year.

The mission of Disability Bridges is to provide opportunities and remove barriers for employees with disabilities, optimizing their ability to contribute to their individual and H-E-B’s success. With recruiting employees educated on disability in the workplace, specifically as it relates to neurodivergent characteristics, support is provided for needs such as accommodations, coaching and mentoring.

After multiple summers in the Neurodivergent Digital internship, Lauritsen is thankful for the opportunity to launch her career. Along the way, the program was understanding to her needs and positioned her to grow beyond work.

“During the interview, they knew I was a little different and that was helpful. It made things much less stressful and easier,” she said. “The internship was a wonderful opportunity, and I don’t think I’d be in as good a position now without it. H-E-B’s culture of ‘People Matter’ is something they take to heart. They help us grow our skillsets by developing our technical skills and our personal skills.”

More information on the Neurodivergent Digital internship can be found at careers.heb.com. To request accommodations related to a disability at any point in the application or interview process, email [email protected] with subject line “INTERNSHIP.”

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