Advancing Life & Work

Internships Attract Top Talent


Throughout my 18 year career at HPE, I have always been a proponent of injecting new talent into my teams in the form of new college graduates.  I have never wanted to settle for good talent or the best that were still available.  I wanted to hire the top student in their program.

I was often frustrated by our internal recruiting and hiring processes because I was always late to the game.  I interviewed good candidates but I wanted the best.  By the time I showed up on campus, the best weren’t even interviewing.  They had been scooped up by other companies long before I arrived. 

 I was one of these “top students” when I was in school.  Companies started approaching me during my Sophomore year, offers for internships came rolling in, and I committed to my first employer as a Junior.  As I continued to dream of hiring the best at HPE and continued to be frustrated about not being in a position to do so, I realized the answer was right in front of me….. The HPE Internship Program.


As I looked into our internship program, I realized that not only did we have an established program, with deep ties into my alma mater (Purdue University), which also happened to have THE best program in the country for what I wanted to hire for, user experience design. 

They also offered one of the best computer science programs and engineering schools in the country.  I was even more excited when I discovered the Pathmaker program.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) began a partnership with Purdue University in 2013 as part of the university's newly created Pathmaker program (  What set it apart from the standard internship experience was the approach of keeping students engaged while attending school full-time as HPE interns working 2 to 3 years with HPE.  Since then HPE has impacted over 50 students' career paths from Purdue.

The Purdue Pathmaker program started with three companies and has grown to over 30.  HPE was one of the original three companies.  Each company utilizes different methods to meet their goals.  We have an HPE manager, Brett Madsen, onsite at Purdue to assist with university engagement, hiring, and managing our intern program.   He partners with HPE's Purdue Executive Sponsor, Janice Zdankus, to ensure the university, the students and HPE each have a great experience throughout the entire internship to career process.  As a result of the program, we have been successful at recruiting interns across multiple business units.  Our only requirements are a commitment from our managers to engage the interns on impactful projects and cultivate top talent. 


As we searched for our top students, we were fortunate to hire the best in our Pathmaker program.  Kayla Martin and Abby Perez (from 2 different majors) worked from our Purdue campus location for 20 hours/week during the school year and then in Houston and Colorado Springs as full-time summer interns. 

It was important that their experience with HPE was rewarding and impactful, not just to them, but to us.  We wanted them to accomplish real work and we wanted them to have positive stories to tell as they shared their experiences with their classmates.


We developed them as we would any employee.  We offered training, challenging work assignments, opportunities to make a difference, mentoring, and performance feedback.  We could see their confidence grow as they interacted across the organization, continued to learn, and completed projects. They started the program as shy young ladies and are exiting as strong, confident women.  

Kayla  MartinKayla MartinThey both graduate in December and their two-year internships will come to an end. The story doesn’t end here though.  Abby has accepted a full-time position with us in Colorado Springs and will focus on customer experience design for our 3PAR products.  Kayla will join the 3PAR engineering team in Milpitas, CA.  In January, we will introduce two more students into the Pathmaker program and I am confident we will once again get the best in class to join our team.

About the authors:

John Albregts, Sr. Manager of Lifecycle Engineering at HPEJohn Albregts, Sr. Manager of Lifecycle Engineering at HPE

John Albregts has been with Hewlett Packard Enterprise and focused on storage products for 18 years.  He has held various roles in strategic planning, marketing, and total customer experience and quality. He has an MBA from Texas A&M University and a BS from Purdue University.

John thrives on leading and motivating people. His passion is in creating strategic plans and organizing his team to service HPE customers and deliver business value. John values partnership, personal relationships, innovation, and a bias for action.

Stay connected to John via LinkedIn




Brett Madsen, HPE Purdue Path-maker Intern Program leadBrett Madsen, HPE Purdue Path-maker Intern Program lead

Bret Madsen has been the Program Manager for the HPE Lab at Purdue University and worked in server engineering since 2013.  He directly works with HPE interns from the Purdue Pathmaker program as well as supports engineering program management at top HPE customers.  He has an MS from Purdue University and a BS from South Dakota State University.

During his time leading the program, Bret has helped grow the HPE Lab program at Purdue University from 6 interns to more than 67 with a tangential impact of over 150 students with either internships or full-time employment with HPE. 

Stay connected to Brett via LinkedIn and if you are interested in learning more about career opportunities or internships at HPE, explore HPE Careers and apply today. 





Susan Graye
About the Author


Talent Acquisition and Attraction


This reminds me of how HP attracted folks like me straight out of college after completing a paid summer senior student work/study program.  And that was 38+ years ago!  Nice to see this kind of effort back and in action at HPE!  


I've had the fortune to work with and meet both Abbey and Kayla.  They are truly an excellent example of working with and developing great talent.  I look forward to our working together on many projects in the future.

Glad to see the effort.

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I've met both Abbey and Kayla, it's great to see what the HPE internship program outcomes are. They are both very professional and highly focused. I was surprised how well spoken and comfortable they are in professional group settings and presenting material. Great to hear they will be joining HPE!

I am so proud to work for a company with such a strong internship program for college and high school students. The projects and experiences give the students the skills and expertise that they need to make big impacts in their college programs and in their careers.