September 03, 2020 — Symba, the leading remote internship platform, and Pay Our Interns (POI), a 501(c)3 nonprofit, teamed up this summer to #SaveInternships in the wake of COVID-19. #SaveInternships was a successful campaign that saved thousands of internships by designing remote internships programs and establishing the Intern Relief Fund to provide financial support for students.
Nearly half of summer 2020 internships were cancelled, according to Glassdoor. In response, Symba launched the #SaveInternships campaign in March to highlight the importance of internships and urge companies not to cancel their programs. Symba’s platform helped hundreds of organizations transition their in-person programs to remote with the necessary resources and training. “Internships are the entry point to the workforce. Our entire mission at Symba is to open up the workforce and we stepped up to be a solution,” says Ahva Sadeghi, CEO & Co-Founder of Symba.
POI joined the campaign in an effort to draw awareness and to help find a solution to financially support students affected by a cancelled internship. Another contributor was IsMyInternshipCancelled.com, created by three Arizona State University students who tracked all companies cancelling their programs. Kaan Aksoy, co-founder of IsMyInternshipCancelled.com, told Symba that they implore “companies to continue offering these opportunities [internships] to students.”
Carlos Vera, Co-Founder and CEO of POI stated, “by the end of the summer, the Intern Relief Fund raised $35,000 and helped 70 students who were facing dire financial constraints.” These included undocumented students, immunocompromised students, and students who’s internships were cancelled. “At Symba, we were compelled to team up with Pay Our Interns to support the most vulnerable populations who rely on internships for financial support and professional development opportunities,” said Symba’s Head of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships, Paula Mora.
One student who received funding is Diana Escoria, a first generation student at Smith College. Escoria was depending on the income from her paid internship to help her mother, an immunocompromised breast cancer survivor who works in housekeeping, pay the bills. Impacted by COVID-19 closures, Escoria’s paid marketing internship with a cruise line was cancelled. In living with her at-risk mother, Escoria could not seek outside employment. She told us financial support from the Intern Relief Fund has kept them in secure housing during the pandemic.
The #SaveInternships campaign was largely successful by addressing student’s financial needs as well as transitioning companies to a virtual environment. “We are proud to say that over 60% of Symba’s customers on the platform were able to scale up their internships on Symba to create more opportunities for students everywhere,” says Nikita Gupta, Symba’s CTO & Co-Founder.
Symba and POI are committed to empowering the next generation of talent with access to an equitable workforce. Despite the many challenges that both interns and companies faced to take their internship programs remote, there will be positive changes. Vera assures us that the Intern Relief Fund will continue to exist even after the #SaveInternships campaign. Symba’s team remains committed to opening up the workforce and creating opportunities for all students, regardless of location and socioeconomic status.
Symba, an all-female founded tech startup, powers global workforce development programs with its management platform. The team has designed over 5000 workforce development experiences, partnered with over 450 universities, and was featured in the Washington Post and TechCrunch as a leader in the remote work revolution.
Symba’s platform supports the management of remote, hybrid, and in-person workforce development programs, including internships, bootcamps, accelerators, apprenticeships, and more.
Led by a young and diverse team, Symba is building a platform with a purpose—to open up the workforce. Symba helps businesses adapt to the future of work—adopting remote operations, investing in the next generation of talent, and committing to diversity and inclusion.
For more information, email Symba at firstname.lastname@example.org.