Many college students have completely disrupted their graduate plans due to the coronavirus pandemic. For one entrepreneurial couple, however, the uncertainty created the opportunity to start their own practice companies.
Just days after completing their global business studies at the prestigious Trinity College in Ireland last summer, Paddy Ryder and Rob Muldowney started calling on local businesses to give interest and their new business: Covid Interns.
The business is suitable for students and graduates looking for internships at mainly small and medium-sized businesses that offer placements.
Since its launch, Covid Interns has placed more than 200 internship candidates in more than 180 businesses. Most of the placements were in Ireland, but the company has also linked up with people with mostly virtual internships in New York, Singapore, Germany, Canada and France and is seeing increasing interest from abroad, Ryder told via video call OilGasJobz said.
It started as a nonprofit “community response” initiative, as Ryder put it, and heard from classmates whose plans were thwarted by the pandemic after graduation. Ryder and Muldowney also themselves experienced the anxiety over whether their own plans would run out after the graduation ceremony.
Ryder wanted to work on mergers and acquisitions, but a series of interviews for summer internships eventually led to “email after email” from companies that said they were postponing postings.
Muldowney was in talks to join the graduate program at a Dublin-based virtual health diagnostics facility, LetsGetChecked, whose health tests include one for Covid-19. However, he was not sure if it would continue, and in the meantime he wanted to work on something else.
Young people were one of the worst affected groups in the labor market due to the coronavirus pandemic, with many more likely to work in sectors worst affected by the crisis.
Further to this, jobs Glass door found that the number of internships in the US advertised on its website in May 2020 had dropped by almost half compared to May 2019.
The pandemic not only forced businesses to go to work remotely, but the economic consequences also forced some businesses to tighten their budgets, causing university students and graduates to lose valuable work experience opportunities.
To get the business off the ground
In addition to the problems graduates face, the pair also saw a gap in the market with small and medium-sized businesses, which Ryder described as the “lifeblood of the Irish economy” but did not have the same resources to practice so much. to pull. applicants as larger enterprises.
Having helped establish a network of Irish graduates while studying at Trinity, they have already had a number of contacts. Trinity and the Irish International Business Network also offered to share free posts about their business. This means that much of the initial business growth was organic, Muldowney said, and did not expect them to invest their own money in the business.
Nevertheless, Ryder said an “intense” period of up to 60 hours a week is needed to get Covid interns off the ground this past summer. Muldowney also started on LetsGetChecked’s graduate scheme shortly thereafter.
Ryder said they used that time to focus on automating processes to make the business more efficient. This means that by September, when Ryder began his master’s degree in finance and accounting at the Imperial College Business School in London, Ryder was better able to balance their roles.
Nevertheless, Ryder said it was a struggle to balance Covid Internes with their other work: ‘It’s long nights and you work on weekends and try to balance everything, but I think it’s also motivating to see that there is something tangible and we also learn a lot on a personal level. ‘
They have since expanded their team, with seven people now working at Covid Interns. They have also started charging for successful placements, albeit at a fairly modest amount, Muldowney said.
Most of the internships in which students are placed are paid for, and voluntary unpaid placements are reserved only for charities or other businesses that are suffering from the pandemic. These voluntary internships also have a limit on weekly working hours.
Covid Interns is still looking forward to growth, with almost 1,000 candidates applying in the last few months alone.
Ryder said one of the biggest lessons he learned when he started Covid Interns was not “putting up a restriction or a cap where you see something happen.”
‘When we started, we probably had pretty modest ambitions, and then all of a sudden with a little bit of faith and a little bit of hard work, we put people on different continents, in different provinces, in every sector and beat them away (where it was) away, ‘he added.