Who You Gonna Call For A Summer Internship? YouIntern.com

02/28/2008

The lines of MSM (main stream media) and social media continue to blur. Last  week I received a press release pitch that said, "As a member of the Atlanta media ..." Now, Girlfriend I readily admit that I've always coveted a backstage press pass and I love those cute foreign correspondent jackets with zillions of pockets, but I've never considered Diva Marketing to be media.

Sidebar: In an up-coming interview with RichardAtDell, that will post on Monday 3-3, RichardAtDell told me that unlike some companies e.g., Target, Dell doesn't distinguish anymore between a blogger and mainstream media.

Interesting. Richardatdell_brendan_hurley_toby_a Diva a la Murphy Brown .. wonder how those jackets would look with a pink boa ;-) Photo of me - in a pink boa, with RichardAtDell and Brendan Hurley Goodwill of Greater Washington at the AiMA cocktail party, complements of  Geoff Livingston

As with many other bloggers those pitches continue to arrive. Last week I also received a personalized email from Anand Chopra-McGowan, who with a few friends, recently launched a new community. Oh no! Toby you're thinking spare us one more social networking community! This one is a little different. YouIntern.com targets college students who are looking for internships and the organizations that provide those internships. Wonderful idea!

In the true sense of social media networking, not only does the site provide links to opportunities but candid reviews of the companies. Wonderful idea! Just for fun here's Youintern_tbs_2 Atlanta based Turner Broadcasting System. Please click to enlarge the image.

I asked Anand Chopra-McGowan to tell us the the who-how-and-why. Remember as YouIntern.com becomes a social media rock star .. you heard it on Diva!

Toby/Diva Marketing: About YouIntern.com: What's it all about Anand?

Anand Chopra-McGowan: It's simple: we encourage advertising students to review their internship experience on YouIntern.com. We then link these students with employers, who post their open internships so students can apply after reading reviews. We also solicit expert advice from advertising industry professionals and write some sharp blogs so as to provide as much information as possible to students, and to keep them coming back. Our goal is to build a community that allows students to find worthwhile internships, and employers to recruit more qualified, energetic, motivated interns.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Back Story: Are you and Dan the 2 adv execs noted in your release? Who are the students mentioned in the release? Do you come from the same school? Is this a class project?

Anand Chopra-McGowan: Yes, Dan and I work in advertising. I was recently at Arnold in Boston, now Director of Development at The Ad Club of Boston (so that connection's covered! Haha), and Dan is in account management at BBH in NYC. Dan Chaparian, Anand Chopra-McGowan Jason Kahn, Jeff Li - Dan and I graduated from BU in May ;07, Jason and Jeff are current juniors there. After having some frustrating and some very rewarding internship experiences, Dan and I came up with the idea for an internship rating/review site. No, it isn't a class project.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Agency Involvment: How active a role are the agencies taking?

Anand Chopra-McGowan: We realized that in order to truly have an impact on the way internships work, we had to bring the agencies into the equation. Students could then apply for open internships, and employers interacting with the site could see what students were saying about their experience. The ideal situation (and we've reached this already in the case of a few agencies) is to have an open Youintern__woman_2 internship posting from a company, and compare it to a review right there, from a student.

Toby/Diva Marketing:  Response from Agencies: What do the agencies think of the concept, especially when they might get a "bad review?"

Anand Chopra-McGowan: Agencies have been incredibly positive to the idea, with HR managers eager to hear what students say about their internships. We've found that YouIntern.com is able to provide a forum for feedback, without the awkward, often scary, prospect of telling your internship manager exactly how you feel, directly to him or her.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Promotion: How are you getting the word out?

Anand Chopra-McGowan: Since we're currently focused on advertising/marketing/pr only, we're getting the word out in a number of targeted ways: For students, letters/emails/calls to Professors at universities across the country, career services offices, posters on campus, Facebook social ads and groups, and we're testing with some Google AdWords.

For agencies, various forums across the internet, painstakingly compiled email lists for agency executives across the country, letters and "intern trading cards" mailed to them, follow-up phone calls, bloggers like you!! We plan to develop working relationships with Ad Clubs, AAAA, AAF, and such.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Monetization: How do you plan to monetize .. what is your revenue model?

Anand Chopra-McGowan: At this point, our only monetization is a few Google ads on the site. Once we reach certain bencmarks, however, we'll be charging for premium postings, more prominent listings, the ability to upload photographs, direct applications from the site. We also are working to develop partnerships with various players, where premium members receive certain discounts, like magazine subscriptions and such.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Sustainability: How will the site be sustained over time?

Anand Chopra-McGowan: This is the wonderful thing about YouIntern.com. Every year we will have a certain percentage of users graduate, and that exact same percentage come in as freshmen. Internships are now an immediate concern for most college students, and these freshmen will have access to our incredible database of content and opinion as soon as they start school. As they experience various internships, this database will grow. Further, most internship reviews, barring any huge changes at the agency, will stay valid for at least 4 or 5 semesters. And finally, we plan on introducing a number of forum and interaction features that will allow users to ask each other questions, update reviews, and help keep content current.

Youintern_guy Toby/Diva Marketing: The Future: Full-time gig?

Anand Chopra-McGowan: Yes, if all goes as planned, this could definitely be a full time venture. Jason and Jeff developed the platform using a programming language called Drupal.

Sidebar: Interesting resource for job hunters to use to understand a company's corporate culture.

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Comments

I think this is an outstanding idea. Can recall my own summer internship days, when I served as unpaid clerical help for a radio station that could well afford to pay. It was also supposed to be a professional internship.

A website like this one would have smoked that station out in a hurry.

Posted by: Martha Retallick on Feb 29, 2008 10:51:24 AM

YouIntern sounds like a great project. If only my country had something like this, maybe students wouldn't have such a hard time looking for companies or organizations to receive their training. What we currently have now though is something that caters to graduates. We're a bit behind but we're getting there.

Posted by: Jay, writer Memberspeed.com on Mar 7, 2008 9:18:08 AM

Hi My name is Lauren and I am the founder of InternshipRatings.com.
InternshipRatings.com is a resource to rate, research and compare internships in various industries across the United States.
While youintern.com is a great site, InternshipRatings.com allows students to rate internships in all industries, not just the advertising field. I urge readers to check out it. It is easy to use and has various features that differentiates itself from youintern.com. InternshipRatings.com displays the top 5 recently rated, top rate and worst rated companies on the homepage. Students also have the ability to rate their internships anonymously! At the end of this month we will be launching "Take Note: Expert Advice from Industry Professionals" that will offer students guidance on various aspects of internships.

I hope you have the chance to check it out!

Thanks
-Lauren
www.InternshipRatings.com

Posted by: Lauren Grunstein on Apr 16, 2008 2:01:21 PM

Check out http://www.internshare.com another similar site with internship reviews. Pretty good interface, and has other things like a buy / sell section and event posting.

Posted by: Rick on Jun 13, 2008 10:17:51 AM

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