University of Colorado junior Samantha Elliott has only one summer left before she starts searching for a full-time job. She plans to make the most of it.
Elliott said she is hoping for an internship that will fill her summer and give her the experience she needs to build her resume.
“You can’t get experience unless you’ve got experience,” Elliott said. “Internships are important to getting a good job.”
However, Elliott said there are limited resources to help students find internships.
Students like Elliott can now find online help with the new site, interninc.com, created by CU alumni Derek and Megann Rundell.
“A lot of sites, like Monster.com, are just for job postings but I’m not at that point yet,” Elliott said. “Interninc is an untapped resource that is specific to the needs of students looking for internships. There aren’t many sites like that.”
The husband and wife team launched interninc.com about one year ago from their office in Centennial and have been building the site’s resources and internship postings ever since.
Derek Rundell, CEO of Interninc, said he got the idea for the site after he struggled to find qualified interns for his businesses. After a little online searching, he was unable to find a convenient site for internship listings.
“There wasn’t a clear market leader for intern postings,” Derek Rundell said. “We have postings from all over the world along with other helpful resources.”
The site — described by the couple as “LinkedIn meets Facebook” — allows students around the world to create a professional profile and search thousands of internship postings. The site also provides social networking resources for skill development.
The site charges fees to major “brand name” companies to post on their site, while giving smaller companies a “freemium” trial before charging them for their profile. The site is always free to students. Interninc also brings in revenue from advertising.
There are more than 4,000 postings from big companies, like General Electric, to smaller businesses, like Seattle’s studentpainters.net or Missouri’s RL Persons Construction.
“We wanted it to be more then just a job board listing of internships,” said Megann Rundell, chief marketing officer of Interninc. “We want them to stay there, learn how to interview, to connect with businesses and other students with the same interests and to help them grow themselves as professionals.”
The Rundells said they intend to work with universities across the country, hoping to be a complimentary resource to the tools already provided to students by university career services departments.
“I tried to use the Career Services site but tried is as far as I got,” Elliott said. “It was really difficult.”
Lisa Severy, director of CU Career Services, said any site that is able to connect employers to students is a good resource for students seeking internships.
“The key to any good networking site is that it will draw community members from both sides of the equation,” Severy said. “If the internship site can pull people with internships to offer — as well as people seeking internships — it should be good.”
After a year of slowly building up the site, the Rundells are ready to add to their 10,000 user base.
Interninc will launch its first internship contest today to help gain users and market the site to student users.
With a high-powered internship at stake, the Rundells said they are confident they’ll see a rush of new users over the next few months.
“The contest winner will intern with the Chairman and CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt,” Megann Rundell said. “Internships are a lot about networking and you can’t get to anyone much more powerful than that.”
The contest requires students to get points for interacting with the site. After several rounds, the ten students with the highest points will be passed along to Schmidt to make the final decision. The winner will be announced in May.