How Returnship Programs Provide New Career Opportunities

Synopsys Editorial Staff

Jan 09, 2023 / 5 min read

Whether taking a step back to be a parent, providing care and assistance for a loved one, or pursuing a different path, taking a break from work is common but somehow still considered a taboo. According to a recent LinkedIn survey, 62% of employees have taken a break at some point in their professional career, and over 35% would like to take a career break in the future. That’s why Synopsys is trying to change the stigma for individuals with resume gaps, tapping into an extensive pool of technically skilled candidates who are often left behind yet severely motivated.

Spearheaded by our Customer Success Group (CSG) in the United States, the Synopsys Re-Ignite Your Aspiration (RIYA) Returnship program is designed to empower those with backgrounds in electrical engineering, software engineering, computer engineering, computer science, and more who have experience in EDA tools, VLSI CAD algorithms, integrated circuits, and RTL-to-GDSII design flow and methodology. Once accepted, participants are given the opportunity to be part of an applications engineering team with the possibility of full-time employment upon completion of the program.

The immersive four- to six-month program gives participants a chance to refresh and update their skillsets with the support and tools to reintegrate into today’s high-tech workplace. In addition, the program acts as a launchpad to meet individuals from similar backgrounds, offering participants with access to an assigned mentor and a chance to network with Synopsys leaders in their field.

To give readers an insider view into the Synopsys RIYA Returnship experience, we spoke with three participants to learn more about their experience, how the program has helped increase their self-confidence, and how they are challenging the status quo.

Effective Career Training

Prathyusha Chivukula, a senior-level applications engineer, discovered the RIYA program after learning about its opportunities and assistance in restarting careers from a Synopsys employee. In her first month, Chivukula found her online training modules helpful in brushing up on her technical skills, as she could learn about signoff activities and more, all while balancing the duties of being a parent. Not only did the focused training jog her memory and uncover technical skills from her previous jobs, but it also piqued her interest in learning more about the latest industry advancements.

Chivukula was particularly intrigued by the new software and tools that came about while she was on her break and appreciated Synopsys’ commitment to teaching her how to use them. Having been away from the workforce for five years, she was most proud of herself for diving into the different pieces of training and believes that real-world experience is equally important. According to her, “Sitting in on practical labs is more helpful than just reading manuals.” Chivukula finished her six-month program in November and recently accepted a full-time position at Synopsys.

Prathyusha Chivukula Headshot | Synopsys

“My favorite thing about the RIYA Returnship program is the idea itself. No one, women especially, should suffer just because they decided to take a pause in their careers. Instead, everyone should have access to opportunities even after taking a break and feel empowered to get back to work and be financially independent.”

– Prathyusha Chivukula, Synopsys Sr. Applications Engineer

Supportive Colleagues

With a background in computer engineering and software development, Eman Reda, a senior-level ASIC design engineer, took a break from her career to prioritize the needs of her growing family. After deciding she was ready to jump back into the workforce, she applied to several companies and chose Synopsys because of the comfortable environment, as well as the support she felt from teams and management.

While Reda brushed up on her coding during her break, she found the program’s training curriculum informative to quickly get up to speed. She enjoys the hands-on, real-world experience provided by the program, saying, “It’s not anything different from real work.” In addition to the specialized training, Reda was assigned a Synopsys “buddy,” to whom she was able to go for questions and industry insights. “I’ve never come across a program like this. I definitely recommend that more companies create such programs because it’s a good opportunity to get back into the workforce confidently, especially if you’ve taken a long break.”

Eman Reda Headshot | Synopsys

“Don’t be afraid to try something new. In fact, learn something new every single day, and seek the support of family and friends who would love to see you succeed.”

– Eman Reda, Synopsys Sr. ASIC Design Engineer

Inclusive Work Environment

A mother and senior-level R&D engineer, Vinoothna Gajula found going back to work while balancing her personal life a challenge. For this reason, she advocates for corporate inclusivity to meet the demands of individuals who have different needs at home: “We should be able to have both—the opportunity to spend time with our kids and not lose our career.” For others to succeed after returning from a break, the Returnship program is an ideal environment, and Gajula advises individuals to “try to include yourself and don’t be afraid to join meetings and groups.”


Vinoothna Gajula Headshot | Synopsys

“The Synopsys R&D team was inviting and accepting; I really felt like I found a new home. This opportunity boosted my confidence while giving me the breathing space to ramp up. Thanks to Synopsys, I am back in the corporate playing field.”

– Vinoothna Gajula, Sr. R&D Engineer

A testament to her technical aptitude and impressive performance, Gajula converted to a full-time role at Synopsys halfway through the six-month program.

Jumpstarting Your Next Act

The reason doesn’t really matter; the fact is, people will take career breaks. Corporations that provide opportunities for talented individuals to reignite their passions and help re-acclimate them into a workplace setting when they’re good and ready stand to benefit from the expertise and commitment these individuals bring. Especially in high-tech sectors, having even a small resume gap can be intimidating, but we’re here to help jumpstart your next act and help you gain the skillset and confidence needed while providing effective training, supportive colleagues, and an inclusive environment.

At Synopsys, we understand that there is value in someone who takes time off and comes back eager to pick up where they left off. If you’re keen to be part of a company that is transforming the electronics industry, apply today.

Learn more about our RIYA Returnship program here.

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