Symba Partners with the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation to Help Small Businesses Host Remote Internships this Summer

Published by Ahva Sadeghi on May 21, 2020
2 min read

Ahva Sadeghi

Ahva is the CEO and Co-Founder of Symba. She is a passionate social entrepreneur, and was recently named Forbes 30 Under 30 and a Global Entrepreneur Scholar by the US Department of State. Ahva completed her graduate studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science where she served as President of the Human Rights Students Committee and received the John Lewis Fellow with Humanity in Action.

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Symba Partners with the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation to Help Small Businesses Host Remote Internships this Summer

By Ahva Sadeghi

Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, many businesses are looking into alternative ways to host their interns this summer. Symba's partnership with the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC) will provide small businesses with the resources and tools to host successful remote internships.

Symba today announces its partnership with the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC) to help small businesses host remote internship programs this summer. 

Due to COVID-19, businesses across the board are changing their original plans to host interns in their office. A recent poll by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) reported that over 80% of employers are now adapting their internship programs for this summer and are working to make the transition to host their interns in a remote setting. This shift, in such a short timeframe, may seem like a daunting task. 

San Diego Regional EDC President & CEO, Mark Cafferty shares that “when the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic became a reality in early March, we were mid-way through recruiting small businesses interested in hosting interns. Businesses of all sizes were hurting, but many small companies (those with fewer than 100 employees) were bearing most of the economic burden...We wondered how they would even have the capacity to think of hosting interns, even if we were taking care of the wages. Quickly, the team got together and pivoted the messaging. We would work to find a way to help small businesses host successful internship programs, and do it all remotely.”

Symba has been at the forefront of remote internships since 2017 and pioneered the best practices to design remote internship experiences and to onboard, nurture, and manage talented interns. Symba, a Techstars Anywhere startup, is passionate about supporting the San Diego community and San Diego Regional EDC - through its Advancing San Diego initiative -  in this effort. Symba first learned about the valuable work EDC is doing to support businesses through Ryan Kuder, Techstars Anywhere Managing Director, who is also a San Diego Native. 

“We are excited to be working closely with the San Diego Regional EDC on this incredible initiative to help support their businesses and young professionals in San Diego. In the short time we have been working together, it is clear how the Advancing San Diego initiative is making a positive impact in the community,”  Ahva Sadeghi, Co-Founder and CEO of Symba, said.

A key focus of Advancing San Diego is connecting diverse, qualified talent to work opportunities at small companies. Advancing San Diego interns come from university, community college, and non-traditional education backgrounds, and many are first-generation college students who came up through San Diego’s K-12 system. The remote model has tremendous potential as a more inclusive approach to internships that allow students and companies to work together while being respectful of scheduling, space, and geographic constraints.

Amidst the many challenges small businesses are facing, there is a silver lining. “While there certainly will be challenges along the way and we will need to adapt to, I believe that this will cause us all to rethink workforce programs and training, and perhaps emerge an even stronger and more resilient region on the other side,” says Mark Cafferty, President & CEO, San Diego Regional EDC.

This summer, the Symba team is working to #SaveInternships by continuing to collaborate with pioneers, like the San Diego Regional EDC, to empower businesses with the tools and resources they need to host meaningful remote internship programs during this unprecedented time. 

By Ahva Sadeghi

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