Students searching for internships may soon have an easier time.
InternMatch, an internships website co-founded in 2009 by a Penn graduate, will debut at Penn later this month. It hopes to offer students an alternative to college careers websites such as PennLink by providing a broader range of opportunities.
“What makes us different is having a really diverse set of positions,” said co-founder and 2009 College graduate Nathan Parcells.
“We don’t just have a list of Fortune 500 companies,” he added. “We have a selection of hundreds of small business and start-up companies to choose from.”
InternMatch plans to release their service through student ambassadors who will spread awareness on their campuses.
The site currently operates at over 200 college campuses, including Stanford University and California Institute of Technology. It hopes to expand to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Columbia and Cornell universities this semester.
Other distinctive features of InternMatch include a user-friendly interface, resume workshops and options on the website to submit videos and pictures as part of an application, Parcells said.
In order to increase opportunities available to underclassmen, the website has reached out to non-profit and small technology companies that might not have the resources to recruit on campus.
However, Patricia Rose, Director of Career Services, was cautious about InternMatch’s arrival.
“We are approached almost weekly by entrepreneurs who want to start new jobs sites,” she said. While she added that Career Services would be happy to learn more about InternMatch, she advised students “to think very carefully about submitting personal information to any third party.”
Rose also felt that employers prefer posting internship positions to only one platform, rather than catering to a variety of internships databases. PennLink, Career Services’ jobs and internships website, is part of a national network called NACElink. NACElink serves over 900 schools and about half a million employers. NACElink is one of the largest in the careers website market, Rose added.
While Parcells conceded that such networks might offer students more opportunities at the national level, he felt that InternMatch might offer more to particular students.
“At an individual school it can be hard to find quality start-ups,” he said, adding that “InternMatch goes above and beyond what is usually offered.”
InternMatch is a safe website to use, he added. “Ours is one of the most robust places … we make sure the contacts and internship info we post are always real.”
Parcells said one of InternMatch’s advantages is its ease of use over other internship websites.
Michael Stone, a Wharton junior who applied for finance internships during On-Campus Recruiting this semester, felt that there was room for PennLink to improve. “A problem is that it can’t handle more than one [web browser] tab … it’s not as efficient as it could be,” he said.
Overall, however, he felt he would use PennLink over any other careers website. “A lot of financial firms don’t have careers websites, so you have to apply through PennLink,” he said. “It’s a lot easier to stand out from the crowd if you apply through PennLink, since PennLink is just for Penn.”
Erik Davies, a Univeristy of North Carolina senior who used InternMatch to find a technology internship last summer, felt the website was straightforward to navigate. “It has a very logical userspace,” he said, adding that his internship wouldn’t have been available through the website offered by his school.
However, he felt that InternMatch was not ready to compete with national groups such as NACElink yet. “InternMatch probably doesn’t have the personal contact with recruiters to challenge universities’ websites currently,” he said.