Written by Aaddya Dubey
Internect is a platform which connects high school students to internships in America. Founded by a group of high school students in July 2019, Internect has recently expanded to Canada and China. Below is an interview with one of the co-founders, Isabella Zeng, class of 2020, who talks about her experiences as a high school entrepreneur.
Aaddya: What inspired you to found Internect?
Isabella: I created this business when I realized how valuable internship opportunities can be to high school students after doing one myself. However, there is a scarcity of these opportunities provided in the workforce which leaves many students without any real world experiences or a setting where they can apply the knowledge they have gained at school. With Internect, I want to provide students like myself a platform where they can be matched with the perfect internship specifically chosen for them by our team.
Aaddya: Why do you think Internect is different than the other Internship platforms that already exist?
Isabella: The Internect platform is an extremely personalised experience for its users. After a student signs up to our platform, they get interviewed by a member of the founding team who try and learn more about the candidate’s preferences and skills; things that can not be reflected on just an online application. With other platforms, students have to go through several platforms and look through all the listings to find one internship which may or may not accept them. With ours, we guarantee that we will find you the perfect internship with a company that matches your passion and skill level.
Aaddya: What problems did you face when trying to get companies or kids to sign up?
Isabella: Honestly, we did not really have any problems with students signing up because many high school students are looking for internships constantly to boost their college applications. However, we did face a problem in signing companies to our platform as they saw no need for high school interns when they could hire college students who have more experience. We e-mailed hundreds of companies and got 3-4 responses but getting those 3-4 companies gave my team motivation to work harder and we still are continuously looking for more companies to sign to give our students the best experience possible.
Aaddya: What advice would you give to other young entrepreneurs wanting to start their own businesses?
Isabella: The summer I started this business was the toughest and most stressful time I have gone through. Each sleepless night and early morning made me want to quit, but what helped was remembering the reason I started the business. If I didn’t put in my all for Internect, I would later ask myself “what if”. I know it sounds like a cliche, but anything is possible if you put your mind it to it. Although starting a business might seem intimidating at first, you have to stick with your idea and deal with the rejections. Rejections are what will help you develop your idea into a real business, so don’t worry about them and learn from them. Lastly, just have fun, because starting your own business can be the best thing you have ever done!
We thank Isabella for talking with us and wish her all the best in her future endeavors. Read more about Internect and sign up as an intern on their website: www.theinternect.com