HR News & Trends

A Leap Day Event: It’s a 24-Hour Online Internship Advice Clinic

Internships-Hangout-logo

Tomorrow (Wednesday Feb. 29) one of the newest start-ups to focus on internships will host one of the largest, if not the biggest, online workshops to be held on Google+.

In a sign of maturity for the social network Google launched last summer, as well as for InternMatch, a “names” group of companies have signed on to host one-hour segments for college students hoping to land an internship.

For instance, hiring managers from Nestle Purina will discuss the ins and outs of building connections and using social media in searching and landing internships. Google’s engineering recruiting lead, Jeff Moore, will do a segment on “Hacking the Engineering Internship Application,” which, presumably, won’t involve any actual hacking, but advice on how to get through the process and stand out from the crowd.

After seven hours of sessions, InternMatch will throw open the doors, so to speak, for 17 hours of online, interactive help for students. The 24-hour marathon, which begins Wednesday at 9:50 a.m. Pacific time, will end Thursday at 10 a.m. Pacific.

This NOT a career fair

The event makes use of Hangouts, the video chat and conferencing service that is part of Google+. Hangouts is interactive for up to 10 participants, but it has a broadcast feature that’s essentially a video stream for hundreds or thousands of viewers. The seven segments will be recorded for later viewing.

Nathan Parcells, InternMatch’s co-founder and CMO, said the event is no career fair. “These companies are going to be talking about how their internship program works and what they look for,” he explained. “They’re going to be giving a lot of great information about the process and how someone can improve their chance of getting an internship.”

These types of events are still new enough to be “firsts.” Last year the CareerArc Group presented a day-long jobs conference entirely on Twitter. Pepsi jumped on Google+ with a recruiting program just as soon as the network opened up its site to brands and companies. Even President Obama got into the recruiting act when he asked a participant to send him a resume during his first Hangouts town hall last month.

The InternMatch Internship Hangouts will allow those watching the stream to message questions to the presenters. In addition, each segment will include 10 live participants who will be able to interact.

Sessions and an online clinic

After the seven hours of sessions, InternMatch will conduct a marathon 17-hour online clinic. The company says it will be “collaborating with a variety of resume professionals and career gurus to offer one-on-one help for students looking to improve their internship applications and prepare for interviews.”

For InternMatch, this is sort of its debut onto the national stage. The site launched in 2009, after its founders themselves graduated, and since has concentrated on campus marketing. The site’s focus is on small and mid-sized companies, especially startups, that don’t have the ability to reach students because of limited budgets and only a few intern jobs.

It’s got plenty of competition for the student market. Sites like Internships.com, CollegeRecruiter, AfterCollege, and the leading campus network, NACELink, all have sizeable audiences with thousands of jobs, many of them entry-level, fulltime work.

However InternMatch now has a presence on more than 200 college campuses, an expansion that was fueled by an infusion in September of $500,000 in angel financing. To date, the company, incubated by 500 Startups, has gotten $900,000 in funding.

John has been writing about recruiting and employment for nearly a decade,and has worked in the field for almost twice as long. He traces his connection to the employment industry back to the beginning of the commercial Internet when he managed some of the earliest news oriented websites. These offered job boards, which became highly popular with users. John worked with agencies and large employers on job postings, resume search, and campaigns, before consulting with media companies on audience development and online advertising sales.