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Joining the dots in an underserved market, Just Intern puts companies and interns on firmer footing

YSProfiles
posted on 6th February 2017
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Considering the benefits offered by an internship - experience for the intern and talent for the organisation - it is upsetting how the system for recruiting interns in India is almost primitive. Just Intern looks to change that.

Internships are, quite frankly, underrated in the Indian context. This is a shame, considering how startup needs interns, and the latter need exposure and mentorship.

Sarabpreet Singh, inspired by a meme on Facebook, started Just Intern in October 2016. It said, "For an experience, you need a job, for a job you need Experience." When he was on an internship hunt, he faced several challenges. Many of his friends ended up in tacky workplaces, where the situation entailed more give than taking. On the other side of the table, a prominent question employers faced was on what basis one should hire someone? Marks? College? Degree? Skills (self-certified?) Participation Certification?

He questioned several HR people as to what they considered when it came to hiring. Most of them decided a fresher's fate based on some old school question from the hiring 101 books. That is, 'Where do you see yourself in five years?' or 'Tell me about yourself'. It struck Sarabpreet as unfair that one could decide a fresher's fate through just a two-minute interview.

Just Intern
Team Just Intern

How did he go about addressing the problem?

Sarabpreet carried over some knowledge of AI and Big Data with him from his college days. He started exploring the topic further through journals like IEEE and Standford's MOOC. He found out a way to get a user's personality insight by analyzing the kind of words they used while writing. So, the question here was, is it practical to make people write a 400-1,000 word article before they apply for an internship? The answer was an obvious ‘no’.

He later went ahead and linked their algorithm with digital footprints from social media and personal websites. That solved a few things:

  • Students could not fake their personalities now.
  • Recruiters would gain insight into the candidate’s mind before even meeting them in person!
  • This allowed people with the right skills and mindset to get onboard. (You cannot hire an introvert with amazing marks for offline marketing, can you?)

How does Just Intern help students get the right internship?

Just Intern provides a smart platform that connects interns with recruiters. Recruiters can hire people in a manner that ensures a better fit when they have access to information other than the candidate’s degree and GPA, and Just Intern offers exactly that.

Core service

Recruiters can look up potential interns based on demographics, college/university, major and minor, and skill set. Interns can look for companies based on skill requirement, pay and perks, and JI Score. JI Score is an aggregated rating system designed for both recruiters and interns. Recruiters are ranked based on perks, pay and intern feedback, while interns are ranked better for displaying their portfolio and recruiter’s recommendation.

Revenue growth and future targets

They are hoping to target 43,000 students per internship session (summer vacation and winter vacations). If they get 10 percent turnout for active internship offers, with Rs 5,000 as the average salary, they will see monthly transactions of as much as Rs 2,15,00,000. They are charging 5 percent from both the student and the employer, which can earn them approximately Rs 21,50,000 a month.

Market size

The scope for Just Intern is impressive, with India playing host to as many as 28 million college-going students. The future looks bright as well, with the total number of students in the country standing at a whopping 315 million according to Census 2011 data.

Monetisation strategy

Apart from the 10 percent commission on each stipend transaction, the four-member team at Just Intern is looking to create a premium membership subscription plan for recruiters. It will help them rank better in the search results, also giving them searching abilities on personality mindset. They're also looking to monetise the data they're getting from students in terms of personality insights.

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