Do great things when you’re young as age is no barrier to creativity and entrepreneurship. This is precisely what Greenwood High 10th Grade student Shloka Ashok has proven. Shloka founded and set up a start-up and online platform, InternMee, looking to connect high school students (14 to 18 years of age) with internship, volunteering, leadership and extra-curricular opportunities with organizations from different domains free of cost. Now, celebrating its six-months anniversary, InternMee has incredible achievements to its credit – 30,000 website sign ups from students in 1,120 cities from 75 countries worldwide. The start-up has also partnered with over 300 companies and catered to more than 20,000 applications so far. The online platform is open to students worldwide and Indian students get the opportunity to take up internships at global organisations.
The platform’s service is free because Shloka wanted to make opportunities accessible and available to all students. The only requirement from students is to sign up on the website. For organisations, the platform has two different strategies : If the organisation is interested in posting positions on the website, then they don’t charge a fee. Student-run organisations and NGOs are constantly on the hunt for volunteers and members so the platform serves to help these organisations as well. However, recently, the platform has initiated paid partnerships and collaborations with organisations that would like to be promoted through InternMee’s social media channels and email marketing campaigns.
Shloka Ashok, a budding entrepreneur whose interest in business inspired her to start InternMee, explains how she established the start-up : “As the pandemic began, I started looking for some internships to expand my skill sets. To my surprise, I wasn’t able to find any appropriate internships for high schoolers. The only way I could possibly get in touch with a company was through my parents’ contacts which did not appeal to me. To ensure that I wasn’t the only one facing this problem, I conducted a survey among 350 high school students only to find that 90% said they are looking for internships in the near future and 95% said they didn’t know where to look for one. This was the start of InternMee. I drafted a business plan and began the process of ideation, spoke to various students, start-up founders and NGOs and finally settled on the idea and function that InternMee serves today.”
Ms. Niru Agarwal, Trustee, Greenwood High International School, said: “Internships play a significant role in exposing students to the dynamics of the real working world and, any work experience contributes to a student’s preparation for life after school. Internships give these young minds an insight into potential career paths, enabling them to explore potential interests and skills in search of their ikigai – where one’s passion intersects with profession. I congratulate Shloka for her stupendous achievement and entrepreneurship at a very young age. I urge students to take the opportunity to get into exciting internships, volunteering and leadership roles via InternMee.”
“I often describe myself as a realist and I strongly believe in giving back to society. I would like to thank the school management for nurturing my interest and for constantly supporting me in all my passion projects right from the oximeter fundraiser to the social service club and now InternMee. Greenwood High has always encouraged its students to go beyond the classroom and I am pleased to say that the school has shaped me into the person I am today,” added Shloka.
Unlike in the West, Indian students are yet to see a robust ecosystem of internships. InternMee’s mission is to accelerate students’ journeys into the corporate world by giving them access to the right network and exposure to an array of professions. Through the platform, organizations get an opportunity to engage and interact with the youth and encourage interns to provide valuable support and assistance.