InternLink has been set up as a platform to connect students with mentors for projects.
The coronavirus outbreak has hampered the job prospects of hundreds, if not more, of newly minted graduates across the country. Several students have seen job offers rescinded and internships revoked. There many more who haven’t yet been placed.
To lend a helping hand to such students, four young Bengaluru-based IT professionals have set up a not-for-profit platform InternLink, where final year college students or fresh graduates can access projects from companies.
“Amid COVID-19, there has been a drastic reduction in internship opportunities offered to students. Also, there is a huge gap in what is being taught in academic institutes and the skills required at the workplace. We are simply trying to bridge the gap by making projects accessible to students,” InternLink cofounder Abhimanyu Chaturvedi told Moneycontrol over the phone.
These projects may not be paid but the idea is to enable students to get skills that equip them for the job market. These works typically run for two to three months.
There are two types of projects--one where candidates can work with mentors looking for freelancers for their personal projects and the second allows students to work on company projects, said Chaturvedi, who graduated this year and is working with an IT firm.
“The focus for us is not for students to make money, but for them to get access to meaningful projects that will help them spruce up their resume,” he said.
When it comes to personal projects of mentors, it is for them to decide if students will be paid. For company-led projects, there is no stipend, he said.
Chaturvedi along with Mayur Bhosale, Samarth Goyal and Riya Ahuja founded InternLink in April 2020.
In their early 20s, the founders did not seek any external funding and have full-time jobs.
Students can visit the InternLink website for projects on offer. These projects are verified by the founders.
InternLink is modeled after Google Summer of Code (GSoC). GSoC is a global programme focused on bringing more student developers to open-source software development.
Students work with an open-source organisation for three months during their break from school.
At Interlink, along with projects from open-source organisations, mentors can also host projects, allowing a wider reach. Mentors identify the project and it gets published on InternLink.
Students can apply for up to three projects and mentors select from among the applicants.
The first phase saw 900 applications for 30 projects. Of these, 45 applicants have been selected and have begun work.
“We are hoping to get more mentors and organisations on board so that more students benefit. Once students complete these projects, they will be able to mention this in their resume and stand a better chance at employment,” Chaturvedi added.At present, most of the projects are IT or technology-related. Chaturvedi said they were trying to get projects for all education streams.