A platform founded by Business School student Paddy Ryder is helping to match skilled students and graduates with small businesses in need.
The social enterprise – called Covid Interns – aims to help small businesses adapt to the pandemic and pivot to digital platforms and delivery models by matching them with students and graduates with the skills to help.
In return, the students and graduates can gain meaningful paid experience in areas such as digital marketing, financial planning, consulting, web development, public relations campaigns, content writing and social media management.
To date, over 300 placements have been made stretching from New York to Singapore, with the majority taking place across Ireland and the UK. Currently, they have 1,500 applicants seeking a variety of full-time roles, long-term internships and short-term projects that can be taken alongside academic studies.
The service is aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), rather than big businesses who typically have well-established internship pathways. The SMEs signing up to take interns this year have come from a wide range of sectors, including small family food businesses, tech start-ups, web development, data analysis and the hospitality industry.
Mobilising fellow students
MSc Finance & Accounting student Paddy Ryder founded the company during his time as a student at Trinity College Dublin. Speaking to the Financial Times, he said: “At the end of the course, [job and internship] interviews were being cancelled or postponed because of Covid. We realised we weren’t alone and thought there might be an opportunity to mobilise fellow students.”
Most of the internships that students are placed on are paid, with voluntary unpaid placements reserved for charities or other businesses hard-hit by the pandemic. These voluntary internships also have a cap on weekly working hours.
Paddy co-founded the business with fellow Trinity College Dublin alumnus Rob Muldowney.
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