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University Forges New Corporate Connections

New Program Gives Students Greater Access to Co-ops and Internships

Students gather around Prof. Holly Yanco and iRobot rep
As part of the new Corporate Connections program, Prof. Holly Yanco, center, and members of the Robotics Department welcomed Bobby Nerbone, center right, iRobot’s talent acquisitions adviser, to campus.


Last fall, iRobot donated four of its Create robots to UMass Lowell for use by the student Robotics Club. The Create — first cousin to iRobot’s wildly popular Roomba vacuum — enables students to program behaviors, sounds and movements on a mobile robot the size of a deep-dish pizza.

As the first company to sign on with the Career and Co-op Center’s new Corporate Connections program, iRobot is strengthening its already-tight bond with UML computer science, engineering and business students. For an annual membership fee, iRobot gets greater visibility on campus and enhanced support for its recruiting efforts. And students get their feet in the door of the country’s leading consumer robot company.

Since the program launched, 12 students were selected for internships and professional co-op placements.

“Our students adore their co-ops at iRobot because they’re given real mission-driven assignments,” says Greg Denon, assistant dean of student affairs for career development. “The co-op becomes like an extended interview, showing how they take initiative and problem-solve.” Today, more than 40 UML alumni work at the Bedford company.

As part of the Corporate Connections program, Denon meets twice yearly with iRobot to discuss the company’s short- and long-term workforce needs. Participating companies also get to host on-campus events, preferred scheduling for recruiting sessions, high-visibility sponsor recognition and other benefits. 

For more information, contact Michael Tith, director of corporate and foundation relations, at 978-934-6659 or