Calling future software engineers: Learn about UL’s equity, diversity and inclusion scholarship, funded by Intercom

We’re excited to sponsor a new equity, diversity, and inclusion scholarship for students of the University of Limerick’s Immersive Software Engineering (ISE) course – valued at €10,000.

Software engineering will play a crucial role in the future of business, society, and even our planet. To ensure that future is as bright as possible, we need diverse teams of software engineers working on the world’s most pressing problems. We foster belonging at Intercom by celebrating our differences, and we are committed to building diverse teams.

“Diverse teams are repeatedly proven to be more innovative, productive, and happier”

There is abundant evidence around the advantages diverse teams bring to employees and companies, as Karen Church, Intercom’s VP of Research and Data Science, points out: “The benefits of encouraging diversity in your workforce and leadership teams are limitless. Diverse teams are repeatedly proven to be more innovative, productive, and happier.”

Investing in education

We believe one of the most important ways we can contribute to diversity in the industry is by investing in education.

Darragh Curran, our Chief Technology Officer, emphasizes how promoting diversity has to be more than just a question of how we hire. “Software engineering as an industry is plagued by a lack of diversity across multiple dimensions, especially gender and socioeconomic diversity. There is no one quick fix, but some of the important areas of opportunity are further up the funnel than hiring, they’re within our education system – it’s about making sure everyone has the right access and awareness and support to pursue a career in technology should they be interested in doing so.”

The scholarship aims to facilitate just that – any student of the ISE course who is also registered with UL’s access, sanctuary, or disability support services is eligible to apply for the €10,000 grant.

Practical experience

The course aims to provide a holistic approach to software engineering skills, blending on-campus learning with hands-on practical experience while interning across a range of companies. Karen describes the programme as, “a partnership between industry and UL, bringing the best of both together to prepare students for the real workforce.”

“We are delighted to partner with UL on bringing ISE to life because they are taking an approach that’s much better tailored for a professional career”

The ISE program offers students a strong foundation in academic theory, while also ensuring they gain the experience, confidence, and skills they need to build a successful career in software engineering.

Innovative course design

Students will have the opportunity to gain experience in a range of industries, working with different kinds of people, problems, and teams.

Darragh emphasizes the educational innovation of courses like this one: “We feel that there’s room for evolution in how university programs equip people for a successful career in technology. We are delighted to partner with UL on bringing ISE to life because they are taking an approach that’s much better tailored for a professional career, with a huge part of the course structured around real work placements, and the design of the course influenced by innovative and successful technology companies.”

In today’s world, that practical experience is invaluable to graduates entering the workforce, allowing them to dive right in and deliver impact right away. We hope that this scholarship will allow someone who may have been unable to access such opportunities to pursue a career in software engineering.

This is part of our broader strategy for investing in and nurturing diversity in our team – we’ve seen time and time again the long-term benefits that come from investing in and supporting ambitious, capable young people through the early stage of their career. We’re committed to not just increasing the diversity of our own team, but investing in areas that can help increase diversity across our industry.

We encourage any curious, talented, ambitious student with an interest in computer science and technology who wants to make a real impact in the world to apply. Learn more here.