The Launch Process

Here’s how it all works.


1) Learn more about us and the track you’re interested in.

Learning the skills and getting the experience you need for a future career can be challenging. Maybe your classes aren’t teaching what you actually need to know to apply for that internship, or maybe the job you’ve been eyeing requires previous experience that’s also hard to get. 

We help students navigate these roadblocks by pairing our comprehensive training program with a guaranteed, paid internship. This unique combination lets you do both all in one summer, and you’ll walk away with the skills you need to tackle whatever you want to do next. We want to help you gain the skills and confidence to follow your own path and reach your goals. Learn more about the tracks we offer:

2) Apply to Launch

Our 3-step application process starts with a straightforward, written application. The final application deadline for summer 2020 is November 6th — apply here!

You can read more about the application process here, but these are a few of our insider tips: we look for people who are genuinely interested in digging into the skill track they’re applying for. We love working with passionate people who are hungry to learn more and are ready to be challenged.

We also look for people who are inquisitive, respectful, humble, team-players, and self-learners. If this sounds even a little like you, we hope to see your application!

3) Learn how to be a stand-out intern.

After you’ve been accepted to Launch, you’ll start training with us for a few hours a week in our Countdown program during the school year. In Countdown you’ll go through workshops to help you polish your resume and LinkedIn, as well as learn how to kick butt at interviewing, give a great presentation, and more. We will also cover technical interviewing for students in our Advanced Software or Advanced Data tracks.

Countdown prepares you to stand out during the Launch internship matching process and for future jobs or internships. During Countdown you’ll also go through our company matching process so you’ll know where you’ll be interning before summer starts.

4) Jump into skills training.

You’ll start working with your instructors during the spring semester to begin learning the technical skills you need to know. 

You’ll meet with your instructor and other Launch students for 3 half-days (on a Saturday or Sunday) for about 5 hours per session during the spring semester to complete this part of training. More details to come on times and dates for these training days — we’ll have plenty of options to fit your schedule.

5) Next, dive into our intensive summer training.

Summer training is an immersive, challenging, and fun experience that feels nothing like being in a traditional classroom. You’ll learn and work alongside similarly passionate peers in a dynamic learning environment. Launch training is a mixture of lectures from your instructors, hands-on group projects, and individual projects all designed to let you actually build functional software, create designs with a real customer in mind, plan a marketing campaign, work with real, relevant data and present your findings, or learn the ins and outs of improving a company’s sales efforts.

Summer training kicks off on May 18th and runs for 3 weeks, full-time. Training hours are 8:30am-6:00pm Monday-Friday. On Wednesday evenings each week we provide dinner and keep working on projects through 8pm.

6) Then go rock your internship.

When summer training wraps up you’ll move right into your internship (which you’ll be matched with during the school year). You’ll be prepared to work on real projects to help execute on your company’s goals — most of our companies tell us they give our interns work they’d normally give to a full-time junior employee.

Whichever of our awesome company partners you intern with, you’ll get the chance to lock in the skills you practiced in training, continue learning on the job, and expand your professional network. Not to mention, you’ll have one 30-minute check-in each week during your internship with a HackCville mentor who can give feedback on your work or help you if you get stuck.

You’ll also get paid for your time over the summer. The base pay for the Launch program is $2,250, and stipends are increased based on location. Stipends for most tracks of Launch are as follows: Charlottesville – $2,250. Richmond – $2,500. D.C./NOVA area – $2,800. New York: $4,200.

The stipend for other cities (Austin, Boston, Denver, etc.) is decided on a case-by-case basis, but will be also adjusted to account for cost of living. Stipends for the two Advanced track are $6,000.

7) After your internship, you’ll be ready to:

  1. Pick up freelancing jobs with your new skills
  2. Apply for your next internship or job with an experience-filled resume
  3. Take on a leadership role in HackCville or join the Launch leadership team
  4. Stay on part-time with your company (this is company dependent – historically, about half of past interns have received a part-time offer for the school year after their internship concludes)
  5. Start your own side-hustle or passion project
  6. Tackle a different track of Launch or move on to one of our Advanced tracks

Our Hiring Partners

Here are the 100+ hiring partners we’ve worked with over the last 3 years.