There are many reasons why women like working at Qualcomm Incorporated, from flexible time off and family leave to mother’s rooms and career development programs. One key benefit provided by Qualcomm is their Returnship Program, which helps employees re-enter the workforce in a way that is welcoming and leaves them excited to return to work.
Let’s take a look at this program and how it can benefit you.
The Challenge: Returning to the Workforce
There are many reasons people take a break from their careers. Maybe they want to stay home with children, take care of family members or travel the globe. No matter the reason they left, returning to the workforce often presents a daunting challenge.
For instance, Alisa Moshkovych, who has a master’s degree in electronic engineering, spoke on the hardships of going back to work in the tech space. “I believe that in tech, you need to learn a lot to stay at the same level, so making progress in your skills requires even more effort,” Moshkovych said. “I only had a few hours a day to spend on reading and coding during my gap, so I definitely felt like people without a gap had a huge advantage over me.”
To help transition back into the workforce, Moshkovych entered Qualcomm’s Returnship Program, which helped her restart her career.
“I was happy to discover this program exists,” Moshkovych said. “It takes away some anxiety because you know the company you are interviewing for understands your life circumstances and is comparing you to people in similar circumstances, not with current working professionals.”
The Solution: Qualcomm's Returnship Program
The idea for the Returnship program originated in 2017 by Rashmi Tripathi, the Director of Engineering at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. A few years later, the Returnship pilot program was launched via the Wireless Research and Development (WRD) team (which funds the program), in partnership with Qualcomm’s Global Inclusion and Diversity (GID) and Talent Acquisition (TA) teams.
The goal of the program is to help people who are re-entering the workforce (with at least one year of professional experience and who have been away from the workforce for over 12 months) gain professional experience and build their skills in a welcoming environment. Returnees gain six major benefits from the program:
Joining a diverse and innovative team.
Expanding their network.
Contributing to meaningful assignments and projects.
Gaining mentorship for career guidance and support.
Reinforcing their industry skills.
Building their resume and skill sets.
The pilot program runs for 18 weeks and each participant gets assigned a mentor, who will provide feedback, and a buddy for support. Returnship positions are paid and, after completing the program, the returnee and hiring manager evaluate whether the employee is ready for a full-time position.
One participant, Komal Agarwal, who has a master’s degree in computer science, said that the “opportunity is giving me confidence to get back into the workforce, has given me a greater sense of purpose, and I get up excited in the morning.” “I am happy to be able to work with other engineers again and to contribute to the team in the same capacity as them,” she said.
The program also helps Qualcomm broaden diversity of thought and life experiences in the company, while expanding their talent pipelines. Due to its success, in 2021, Qualcomm is expanding the program to include Qualcomm Government Technologies (QGOV) and the WRD Modem Tech Firmware and Hardware group.
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