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Lara Rosales

May 07, 2020

Many of the internships that students had found for this summer have been cancelled. However, there are people still working to connect students with companies to explore different opportunities.

For the last few weeks, I have been searching through LinkedIn more than normal. In the midst of this chaos, I have been trying to find a job and many have told me that is the perfect place to do so. While doing my research, I noticed that many students had lost their internship opportunities for this summer. They were all reaching out to their connections trying to find companies who were looking for interns in the next few months. While reading those posts, I came across Tanuja Nailwal; she created different forms for students and organizations to leave their information so they could connect with each other and explore the different internship opportunities. When I saw that, I was amazed by the work and dedication she had put into this project so I reached out to her and asked her to share her story. Hopefully, in her words you will find some inspiration and, if you take the chance, an internship with an organization of your liking.

If you are wondering who Tanuja Nailwal is, let me introduce her to you in her very own words. She shared with me her experience as a college student and the kind of life she has been leading which brought her to the idea of creating this project. She is someone who spent all of her “college life working. 9 [to] 5 were [her] college hours and 9 [to] 5 were [her] studying [plus] working years." For her, those were the years in which she “grew the best" and the ones that “shaped [her ] into the person [she is] today" because of “those people who believed in [her] with their work when [she] was a student." Currently, she finds herself studying and will become a Class of 2020 Graduate. By being part of this class she believes she has seen “the worst form of the world economy when everything is standstill."

For many years, Tanuja Nailwal has been running a student community on WhatsApp where she “share[s] all the opportunities (freelance/internships/ jobs/competition)" she finds through her network. Just like every other college, hers shut down in mid-March and that was when she “started receiving messages from students who were worried" and she realized most of those students “saw their internships being canceled and found themselves in the midst of unknown chaos." When she shared this with me, she remarked that “the situation reminded [her] of a LinkedIn post by Michael Houck, currently working at Airbnb who created a Google Form to help those laid off by Uber in August 2019." Because she noticed that initiative was well received, she thought of doing something similar to connect students with different organizations who were looking for interns during summer 2020.

What was her first step? She decided to create two Google forms; one for students and one for the organizations. Her idea was to share the information with everyone who chose to register. However, she noticed “some organizations that started using that database for their marketing purposes and it didn't feel right to [her]" because she knew that was stealing data, so she had to change her approach. Once she did this, she “decided to form a Google Group for the ease of sharing" and asked the students to join it in order to “share the database with everyone in parallel." When it comes to the different companies, she is “directly giving access to the sheet on the registered email ID."

How can students connect with these organizations? She decided to link the Google forms and the Google sheet so that “all the organizations and students can see each other’s details and contact each other simultaneously." There is a special tool, “the Find option," which allows the companies to “enter relevant keywords as per their requirements" allowing students to be filtered so it’s easier for the hiring teams to “go through their resumes and write to them expressing their interest." The process is very similar for the students because in the end she wants them to be able to connect with each other.

I believe Tanuja Nailwal’s initiative is needed these days. The fact that she believes “this is a way of giving back in every capacity [she] can" and takes the time to “review a lot of CVs, review emails, and more importantly, have assured those students that [she is] here for them" shows her dedication is real and anyone who contacts her about this will find amazing results. Her idea has always been “to empower students to grow holistically" because she believes “the title 'Student' is very powerful as it can give you access to that untapped resources and knowledge which nobody else potentially can get."

In my opinion, we all need someone like Tanuja Nailwal because they are the ones who help the corporate world evolve and aim for a better future. By connecting students with different organizations, she has given many the opportunity to grow personally and professionally. She has given people a beacon of hope among the global pandemic that has affected so many of us. These are the people who will create better working environments and allow all of us to have the opportunity to put our talents to work.

If you are interested in being part of this initiative because you are looking for an internship, here are some helpful links:

 The motivation behind the initiative.

·         Transparency of the initiative.

·         Success so far.

·         LinkedIn Group where Tanuja Nailwal has weekly e-Meetings for students to connect with each other.

·         Tanuja Nailwal’s LinkedIn profile.

We wish you luck in your search for the perfect summer 2020 internship!

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