CID opens virtual door for talent with Kroger

Kroger ‘Tech Connect,’ Cincinnati Innovation District help students connect with industry

In its ongoing mission to connect intellectual capital to industries in dire need, the University of Cincinnati’s 1819 Innovation Hub within the Cincinnati Innovation District (CID) continues to solve the needs of its partners on demand.

While every business faces unique challenges, one universal truth remains: The digital transformation and the increased pace of change has created a glut of demand for educated talent. Beyond student sprints, co-ops and internships, The Kroger Technology and Digital Team has embarked on another innovative way to engage students: Kroger Tech Connects. This series of virtual meet-ups connects students and company executives to discuss digital and technology business topics and showcase to students how Kroger could be their next career stop.

Collaborative connection

Kroger Technology's space with people collaborating together inside UC's 1819 Innovation Hub.

Students and industry leaders collaborate together successfully inside the Kroger Digital and Technology space inside UC's 1819 Innovation Hub. Photo/Greg Glevicky

Amazed by the experience, students involved said the intimate collaboration shattered any preconceptions they had about the traditional grocery brand and enabled them to envision themselves working in The Kroger Co.

“When Kroger leaders and experts are coming for the people who are getting internships and co-ops, that’s the kind of company you want to work for,” says Mohit Jain, a recent graduate of UC's Information Systems and Data Science master of science program. 

"Through the Kroger Tech Connect I realized that Kroger is not just an ordinary grocery store, but an innovative company solving tech problems,” says Luke Grothaus, second-year finance major and Kolodzik Business Scholar in UC's Carl H. Lindner College of Business.

Those are just the kind of reactions Kroger hoped to evoke in the students when they take part in Kroger Tech Connect.

"As Kroger continues its journey to create a seamless ecosystem for our customers, it’s more important than ever that we engage with students who can become future Kroger associates,” said Paaras Parker, HR leader for Kroger Technology and Digital. “Our partnership with the University of Cincinnati and the 1819 Innovation Hub is critical for us to engage with future industry talent, and we look forward to continuing these virtual experiences to connect with students.”

Computer screen grab showing six people in a virtual Zoom meeting.

Attending the Kroger 'Tech Connect' experience included students from UC's SoIT, LCOB, CEAS, DAAP, UC Blue Ash and Arts & Sciences. Photo/provided

The partnership of the 1819 Innovation Hub within the CID has helped put a spotlight on their culture for innovation.

“As our world evolves, we continue to innovate with our partners and evolve as well,” says David J. Adams, UC chief innovation officer. “This initiative engages student talent and attracts new prospects in the same way many Kroger student engagements happen inside the 1819 Innovation Hub.

“We aim to deliver solutions that truly answer the partner’s problems. By developing Tech Connects alongside Kroger, we are bringing a new experience to both the student talent and the partner who needs them.”

Future Kroger Tech Connects will continue to include more UC students, as well as other area university students and even seasoned talent.

More Kroger collaboration with 1819 news


Featured image at top: The Kroger Digital and Technology space within UC's 1819 Innovation Hub. Photo/Greg Glevicky

About the Cincinnati Innovation District

A unique and thriving ecosystem, The Cincinnati Innovation District™ is anchored by the University of Cincinnati, a Carnegie Level 1 research institution. At 46,000 students strong, the University of Cincinnati is a national leader across many disciplines and is focused on solving society’s problems. With the acceleration of STEM graduates and research talent from UC, the Cincinnati Innovation District™ is well positioned to be a beacon to the nation and the world to attract talent and the organizations that seek that talent.

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