City Scholars has been a huge success for JPMorgan Chase in attracting talent from University of Illinois’ Grainger College of Engineering. Seventy-five percent of students from the company’s first class of interns accepted an offer for full-time employment starting this summer.
“We were impressed from the beginning,” said Steve Benni, an Executive Director in JPMorgan Chase’s Chief Technology Office in Chicago, who holds a computer science degree from Illinois.
For instance, Benni reports the City Scholars team was able to automate a job that before took about 2,000 working hours to complete each year.
“[City Scholars] aligned really well with our goals,” Benni said. “The University of Illinois has been one of our key partner schools. It produces fantastic engineering talent with the right skills to enter the technology market.”
The undergraduate engineering program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ranks 6th overall in the 2018 America’s Best Colleges edition of U.S. News and World Report (published in September 2017), and 5th in computer engineering programs, a top target for growing Chicago companies.
“Silicon Valley and New York have a strong nationwide pull as places that inherently have big ecosystems with technology companies,” Benni said. “We want to expose students to the fact that there are other options. City Scholars goes beyond providing that awareness. As students start to live and breathe within the ecosystem, it gives them a connection with the city and us a chance to drive home the message that this is a great destination to have a career in technology. It has allowed us to funnel that Chicago message and that tech message to the great engineering talent at the University that we want to join our team.”
“We have had nothing but fantastic results from what the City Scholars have been able to produce and how quickly they have been able to produce it,” he concluded.