SMASH Rising



From SMASH Academy to SMASH Rising

SMASH Rising is an early-stage workplace readiness program that equips SMASH alumni with the critical skills needed to design solutions for partnered companies. We place pods (teams) of SMASH alumni at workplaces to provide internship preparation and workplace exposure early in their college careers.

This is a paid internship for SMASH Academy alumni entering their first and second years of college. Supported by dedicated SMASH hired and trained Project Managers, provides the pods with the opportunity to put the skills developed at SMASH Academy into action. Scholar-Interns develop new ideas and create innovative solutions from the challenges provided by our partners.

A Few Examples: 

  • SMASH Rising participants prototyped a mobile application that includes a social justice dimension aimed to improve access to job opportunities and decrease unemployment during the pandemic. 
  • SMASH Rising participants designed new ways for California residents to access unemployment information amidst the pandemic. 
  • SMASH Rising participants created an app for children ages three and up to learn about money and savings.


The SMASH Rising application for participants opens November 1st, 2022 and will close on January 13, 2023.

Learn More:

SMASH Rising 2023 Partners

Scholar-Intern FAQ

Scholar-Intern Application Process

Eligibility – If you

  • Are a SMASH Alumni and 
  • Are a Rising First Year College Student or
  • Are a Rising Second Year College Student 

Application Checklist 

  • Take a look at all all SMASH Rising partner sites here
  • Further research each of the partner sites that you are interested in on their websites. 
  • Questions to consider:
    • Am I interested in learning more about the mission of the partner site?
    • Am I interested in meeting people that work at the partner site?
  • Choose top 6 partner sites by indicating interest on the SMASH Rising application
  • Complete SMASH Rising application, including essay responses, and online video interview

Important Information

  • Application opens on November 1st
  • Application walkthrough workshop November 4th @ 4p PT
  • Application AMA – December 9th
  • Application Office Hours (Working Session) – January 6th
  • Application deadline is on January 13th


  • A selection committee will review all qualified applications of scholar experience and standing during SMASH Academy. 
  • Students attending SMASH Academy, SMASH Persist and SMASH Alumni Summit will receive additional consideration in the review phase. 
  • The selection committee will determine the number of SMASH Scholars who will fill one of the 100+ seats at SMASH Rising.
  • SMASH Rising will send an email communication to selected students in March.
    • The email will include the offer letter, at which point you can accept or decline the offer. The decision of the selection committee is final. 
  • Upon signing the offer letter, the onboarding process will begin, with welcome materials distributed, and pre-work assigned. 


SMASH Rising offers paid internships. Please see this page for more information on compensation per site. If you are not eligible to work in the U.S., please email us at: to learn more about internship opportunities. 

Dates + Location

Our summer internship will begin on June 16, 2023. Please visit this page for more detailed information about end dates and length of internship. Additionally, there will be virtual and in-person internship opportunities in 2023. All internship dates are mandatory, please read more about the attendance policy here.

SMASH Rising’s 2023 program will include in-person sites, virtual sites, and hybrid sites. Only fully vaccinated Scholar-Interns will be placed at in-person internship sites; if a Scholar-Intern is not vaccinated, they still have the opportunity to work virtually. Additionally, we will only be utilizing onsite opportunities with partner organizations that have a vaccine mandate (i.e. 100% of their staff is vaccinated). Our primary goal is to keep Scholar-Interns safe and healthy for the duration of the program. In most cases, we will defer to the COVID regulations at each of our partner sites, and if their regulations do not meet SMASH’s standard of safety, we will only place Scholar-Interns at those sites in a virtual role.

Please email us at if you have any questions.

Is your organization in need of unique perspectives and analytical problem-solving by a group of highly talented and intelligent individuals? 

By hosting a SMASH Rising pod, you could leverage a brilliant pool of scholar-interns for creative insight to achieve project goals.

If you are interested in hosting a SMASH Rising pod and joining the SMASH Rising Network, click here.

SMASH Rising Impact

Decades of social science research shows that students – especially underrepresented students of color – retain knowledge better when they can connect to what they learn and apply it to the world around them.

SMASH Rising participants have shown significant growth in overall self-efficacy (e.g. confidence), STEM career exploration, computational skill + critical thinking.

SMASH Rising Alumni Testimonials

“I decided to apply to SMASH Rising because I am a first-generation college student navigating college on my own. The SMASH Rising opportunity allowed me to gain professional experience and references. It helped me begin to imagine the type of workplace environment I wish to go into after college.” – SMASH Rising ‘21 Alum Bryan Resuleo (IDEO CoLab)

“After graduating High School, I wanted to immediately get work experience in the career I was pursuing. I knew how rare it was to say ‘I had the opportunity to work with Autodesk’ before I even started college at San Jose State University. The most important impact SMASH Rising made was through my mentality and attitude. It motivated me to try even harder as a Biomedical Student to accomplish my main goal of helping others through regenerative science. I took advantage of the multiple summers SMASH Rising offered and had the opportunity to work at Autodesk, Canary Center, and Stanford School of Medicine.” – SMASH Rising Alum Cristopher Delgado (‘19 Autodesk, ‘20 Canary Center, ‘21 Stanford School of Medicine)

“Going to a school where most of my peers already have the connections and support from their parents in their professional/career journey, I am beyond grateful for SMASH Rising. It has given me the confidence to speak up in group settings and has shown me the importance of collaboration and networking.” – SMASH Rising Alum Sinahy Fragoso (‘20 DoorDash ‘21 Zymergen)