Intern Bridge began in 2005, purely by accident, while I was a student at Babson, a small business college located just outside of Boston, MA. After taking part in the university's only human resources class, I immediately knew that it was a field for which I had a growing passion. After speaking with my professor, my plan was to obtain an HR internship and start networking with the local HR association, which coincidentally conducted their professional development programs on Babson's campus. To sum up my internship experience - it was terrible. It was an unpaid experience at a large, reputable Boston firm. My supervisor did not encourage learning, the culture of the organization was such that I was referred to as "intern", and the kind of work that I was performing was entirely menial.
As this internship was occurring, I began volunteering for the local HR association as a conference aid when their programs came to Babson's campus. About two months into my poor internship experience, I volunteered at a program entitled "Strategic Staffing", part of which was to be a discussion about college recruiting. With about 50 high-level HR folks in the room, I thought many of my questions as to why my experience was so poor would be answered. To my surprise, the HR professionals had no idea. I approached my professor with the possibility of conducting a small independent study project into best practices for hosting internship programs. I thought that by focusing on student expectations and experiences that I could build a best practices model that would ensure win-win programs for employers and students.
What started as a small survey to be launched on one college campus, quickly turned into the largest-ever research project to focus solely on internships from the student's perspective. Over 6,000 student responses representing 31 universities were collected, as well as data from 250 employers. The idea for Intern Bridge was born.
Since our official inception five years ago, I have had the incredible opportunity to travel the nation, representing college students in an effort to create new internship programs and improve existing programs that are truly meaningful. Our unique research has become widely sought and respected in the field. My experience as a Millennial, recent college grad, HR professional, and entrepreneur since the age of 14 has provided me with the foundation necessary to accomplish our goal: improving internship programs by sharing critical research points from students with employers and universities. I feel fortunate and truly humbled that the academic and business communities have embraced Intern Bridge, and have recognized my passion and devotion for realizing the goals we have set out to accomplish.
The next five years are going to be critical for the field of experiential education and I am looking forward to supporting the academic and business communities through extensive research, workshops, webinars, publications, and strategic partnerships. The bottom line is this - effective internship programs are an incredible recruiting tool for organizations, an important developmental tool for students, and a critical support tool for local economies.
All the best,
Founder and President
Intern Bridge, Inc.