The Australian: Virtual interns course popular

1 min read

The Australian: Virtual interns course popular

The Australian: Virtual interns course popular

Budding entrepreneurs from across the country and around the globe can gain experience as “virtual” interns via a Sydney School of Entrepreneurship joint venture with Sydney Startup Hub in a program that has attracted more than 1000 enrolments in the past month, from more than 200 institutions.

Education and training director at the school, Jonathan Jones, said the enthusiastic take-up of the course had been pleasing. It is offered free of charge to anyone who wants to apply, not just students from the 11 universities that, together with TAFE NSW, back the school.

Early figures show almost 45 per cent enrolments are international.

“I anticipated it,” Mr Jones said of the strong interest. “I’m very pleased with the gender divide, which is almost at 50:50, and we have a number of students from regional NSW coming on board. Our aim was to offer something to everybody but the mode of delivery of the virtual internship makes that opportunity available no matter where you are, as long as you get an internet connection. One of our aims was to make something like this available to those to those ­regional locations.”

He said part of the logic was to build a pipeline of entrepreneurial talent. Those who enrol in the course are asked to provide advice to three real start-ups at different stages of their development. For venue-booking platform Vennu, an early-stage start-up, interns must create a series of “customer personas” to help the company understand its target audiences, as well as product and website development project.

For aged-care and disability services provider Home Care Heroes, which is at the stage of scaling up, interns must build a customer journey map and create a social media marketing plan. For venture capital-funded scale up Longtail UX, a web optimisation and search engine marketing company, intern tasks include undertaking a competitor analysis.

Students log in, view a video from each of the three participating start-ups and work on their assignment. When they submit, they receive a response to the assignment composed by the course co-ordinators, against which they can compare their own work. It takes about six hours to complete the work for each startup and students receive a certificate at the conclusion of the course.

This article was written by Jill Rowbothom and originally published in The Australian.