The Reimagined Internship

The Ellucian and JMU X-Labs Reimagined Internship application cycle is now closed.

About JMU X-Labs

JMU X-Labs sets the stage for innovation by providing a dynamic space for cross-disciplinary collaboration. Curious JMU community members from all majors uncover solutions to real world problems through courses, fellowships, workshops, and other initiatives.

Role Description

In-Person/Remote: In-person. Students must be prepared to live in Northern Virginia for the summer to report to Ellucian in Reston, VA. 

What Parameters are set for students (GPA, Class Year, Major, US Work Authorization)

GPA: min. 3.0

Class year: Current sophomores, juniors, seniors, graduate students

Areas of Study

Computer science, business, humanities, strong focus on AI, statistics, UX/UI, design thinking, cognitive psychology, marketing, communication, English, ethics, philosophy, law

  • Current JMU sophomores, juniors, seniors, and graduate students may apply
  • Preferred areas of study: computer science, business, humanities, strong focus on AI, statistics, UX/UI, design thinking, cognitive psychology, marketing, communication, English, ethics, philosophy, law
  • Students who will embrace belonging to a team, are eager to learn how to problem-solve using design thinking, wish to strengthen their communication and critical thinking skills.

1. JMU X-Labs Prep Course – Spring ’24

Accepted students will enroll in a 3-credit X-Labs Design Thinking prep class in Spring 2024 (day/time TBD by Dec 15). Ellucian will provide a complex problem for the cohort to solve focused on higher education. Instructors from Ellucian and JMU will guide students through the solution-finding process, from ideation to prototype. The cohort will present their solutions to the problem at X-Labs’ annual Innovation Summit on April 30, 2024.

2. Summer Internship at Ellucian – May 20, 2024 – August 9, 2024

The cohort of students will arrive as a team to Ellucian in Reston, VA for their on-site, 12-week internship and will work with a team at Ellucian dedicated to the same challenge that was worked on during the prep course.

The Cohort Profile

Seeking 10 students total, to serve the following roles:

Product Manager (2) Areas of study: computer science, business, humanities

Their role on the project:

  • Setting product vision
  • Defining initial business case
  • Pitch deck to achieve funding / approval
  • Writing requirements for MVP

Developers (4) Areas of study: computer science, strong focus on AI, statistics, humanities

Their role on the project:

  • Creating initial architecture
  • AI model development
  • Building the MVP per requirements
  • Bug fixing and refinement

(1 back end, 1 front-end, 2 AI/ML)

Designers (2) Areas of study: UX/UI, design thinking, cognitive psychology

Their role on the project:

  • Double diamond ideation, competitive analysis
  • Final Figma prototype
  • User testing & analysis
  • Interaction details for project requirements

Marketer / Storyteller (1) Areas of study: marketing, communication, English

Their role on the project:

  • Standardized collateral for product marketing (powerpoint, PDF)
  • Defining go-to-market plan
  • Press release
  • 1 webinar/loom

Ethicist (1) Areas of study: ethics, philosophy, law

 Their role on the project:

  • Write the project’s ethics & data use standards
  • Research existing legal or regulatory implications for the project
  • Document the project’s risk assessment
How You’ll Grow

Students going through the JMU X-Labs Reimagined Internship will gain the following skills and experience, which apply to any career:

  • problem solving
  • communication across disciplines
  • teaming and collaborating
  • critical thinking
  • leadership
  • networking
About The X-Labs Reimagined Internship Prep Course

The X-Labs Reimagined Internship prep course is a project-and team-based cross-disciplinary course in which students who have been accepted will work as a team to address the following problem: Create a methodology for institutions to utilize data in assessing the effectiveness of their educational programs. This approach should determine whether the curriculum is adequately equipping students for career readiness. Students will develop the skills and habits of mind along with problem-solving strategies that allow them to develop a minimum viable solution to this challenge. Students can expect to apply learned interviewing skills to collectively generate 100 conversations through the semester, to ideate and then evaluate potential solutions, and create and test prototypes of their solutions. These skills parallel qualitative and quantitative research methods along with creativity and collaboration.  By the end of the class, students will generate a portfolio of information regarding their solution to be delivered to Ellucian, participate in the Innovation Summit, and move to the internship program at Ellucian in Reston, VA from May 20-Aug. 9. Students are expected to be willing to do the sometimes difficult but always rewarding work of collaborating by participating in and outside of class (e.g. team meetings outside class hours) and prioritize this experience.

Application Requirements

NOTE: Submitting an application means you are available for both the in-person Spring ’24 JMU X-Labs prep course and the in-person summer internship at Ellucian in Reston, VA.

  • Submit a max 2-page cover letter that addresses the following prompts:
    • Specify which of the roles in the cohort profile your experience and education have best prepared you for. Explain.
    • What is it about this reimagined internship experience that caught your eye? Explain.
    • What interests you about Ellucian and their mission?

  • Submit a max 2-page resume with three references and their contact information. If you have taken an X-Labs course, please include as a reference one of the instructors.

  • Additional materials may be requested.

Contact Connie Frigo, Executive Director, X-Labs at or visit The Reimagined Internship page.

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