YouTern, an online community to link interns with startups, has launched their pilot program in California, with plans to expand nationwide.
While there are many programs that assist students with finding internships with large, established companies, until the launch of YouTern, there was no similar service helping entrepreneurial-minded students find a position with a startup. And now in turn, startups will have a resource to identify and recruit talented students for internship positions, a move that may help build a "startup culture" so college graduates don't feel as compelled to only seek employment with major corporations.
Internships are useful for students as they can help them prepare for their professional careers, through mentorship and on-the-job experience. The latter is particularly important in these rough economic times as job experience can set a college graduate apart from the competition. Indeed, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the number of college students planning to gain experience through an internship in their field of study has increased dramatically in recent years - from 10 to almost 70 percent. Furthermore, employers indicate that they anticipate offering employment to a majority of their interns.
One of YouTern's key features is its ability to match interns and companies based on information about a student's degree/major, location, and hours available and a business's category and needs. Compatibility of interns and potential employers is ranked, with only qualifying matches delivered. Currently subscriptions and postings to the site are free.
"The rules have changed for young talent entering the workforce," said YouTern CEO Mark Babbitt. "Students don't have jobs waiting for them at graduation and must now plan their career paths years in advance. In our new economy, a career-relevant internship is the key to success." Not only are internships becoming more important for college students, but many young people indicate they want to become entrepreneurs in their own right. YouTern looks to offer college students an important service to kickstart their careers.