Industry-Sponsored Research Week

Brown U student entrepreneurs create job board for remote internships

By David Schwartz
Published: April 7th, 2020

It was just about a month ago that Brown University told undergraduate students had to move out by March 22 and finish the semester online. Chuck Isgar, a junior majoring in business economics and co-president of the Brown University Entrepreneurship Program, had anticipated the decision and was already making preparations to clear out.

“In the dining hall, I was asking students, ‘How would things be at home for you?’” Isgar recalled. “It’s a real transition to go home compared to being on a college campus. Something I kept hearing, over and over, was ‘I’m going to have so much extra time, and I don’t know what I’m going to do with it.’”

Meanwhile, in the start-up world, Isgar knew that companies were looking for extra help. What if he could match up start-ups with candidates for remote internships? It’s an idea that industry engagement professionals could adapt in their own efforts to connect students with partnering companies. 

Isgar enlisted the help of two of his classmates, Megan Kasselberg and David Lu (Lu is also the co-founder of H2OK Innovations, a start-up using AI and data analytics to provide communities with cost-saving information on clean drinking water). Together, the three of them co-founded what is now Intern From Home, a job board where start-ups can post remote internship roles and students can apply.

The Intern From Home team, now a group of six Brown students, distributes the listings through an e-mail newsletter that goes out every 48 to 72 hours. As of last week the newsletter already had nearly 1,000 subscribers.

“It’s exciting to think through who we’re trying to help right now,” Isgar said. “There’s a lot of people around the world, from doctors and nurses to everyone else, trying to help. What we’re doing is nowhere near what doctors and nurses are doing, but we want to help students. They’re getting to be exposed to different start-ups through our newsletter and our website.”

About 40 different companies have posted listings on Intern From Home thus far. They run the gamut: AI startups, strategy consulting firms, digital health platforms, and more are all looking for candidates. Isgar said he isn’t sure how many placements have been made. but there are a number of companies currently bringing new interns onto their teams.

Intern From Home’s launch comes at a time when major tech companies are canceling their prestigious summer internship programs. Glassdoor, StubHub, Funding Circle, Yelp and Checkr and many other firms have canceled their programs due to coronavirus.

“It’s interesting to see how quickly this spread across the country,” Isgar said. “We have roots in the northeast, and very, very quickly after getting the word shared, we started to see students from schools all over the country. It was exciting to see that we have such diversity.”

Intern From Home’s is trying to scale up, seeking more companies to list remote internships as well as more student candidates. The team has reached out to incubator programs, including at Brown and Harvard, along with venture capital firms with the goal of getting their portfolio companies to post listings.

Source: Rhode Island Inno

Posted under: University-Industry Engagement Week

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