Some majors at Ohio State require internships to graduate. For many, this internship is considered a good addition to the student’s resume, a chance to connect with potential employers and a way to gain firsthand experience in a field.
However, finding the right internship can be a challenge.
A new website called InternWire allows students to post anonymous reviews of their past internships. According to the website’s founder, Michael Fearer, a fourth-year in electrical engineering, it is similar to the Rate My Professor website.
“You can also take a quiz on the site,” Fearer said. “You can put in where you want to intern, what your major is, and it can help you find which internships are right for you.”
Fearer said he came up with the idea for InternWire in March, just after a spring career fair.
“You get a packet of 300-plus companies and you just can’t see them all,” Fearer said. “I wanted an easier way for students to learn about the companies before the fair so they could have a better idea of where they want to go while they’re there.”
Fearer said he worked on the website all summer and launched it officially at the beginning of the semester.
InternWire has already made deals with the Engineering Career Services and the Fisher College of Business. Fearer said they will be sending out emails to students about using InternWire.
“The ultimate goal of the website is to help students out,” Fearer said. “I’ve had four internships and I know how hard it is to find them.”
Some students said they like the idea of an internship-review website.
“I could definitely see myself using it,” said Emily Rice, a second-year in marketing. “You could find out what internships are actually like, as opposed to what the businesses say they’re like.”
Rice said that she thinks the idea of trying to find internships on her own is daunting and scary because it’s such a grown-up thing to do, adding that researching certain internships online could save time.
Fearer said he wants InternWire to function as a 24/7 career fair to take the pressure off students to only perform well on a few predetermined days throughout the school year.
Anthony Storrow, a second-year in exploration, said he is considering business as his major and is unsure how he will find an internship in the future.
“It’s sitting on the back burner right now,” Storrow said. “I know I’m going to have to at some point, but I’m going to need some sort of resource to help me out.”
Storrow said he liked the idea of getting some help before he has to face people at a career fair.
“Somebody like me who isn’t used to that kind of thing could benefit from seeing the opinions of other people that have been there,” Storrow said.
Fearer said that the website won’t just help students but the companies that are getting reviewed, too.
“InternWire rewards companies that have good internship programs because they get the best reviews,” Fearer said. “The 27 companies I’ve talked to about it all had positive responses about the need for this kind of website.”
Fearer also said he has plans for more ways the site can give back.
“Every 1,000 views we get on the site, we will donate one percent of the profit to an educational charity,” Fearer said. “One of them will be Pencils of Promise, which builds schools in Third World countries.”
Right now, the site has mostly been used by friends and family who have helped Fearer get it up and running. He said he expects that to change in the coming months.
“We’re still in the startup phase,” Fearer said. “The potential is there, but the key is getting students to go on and make posts.”
Fearer also said that he encourages critiques of InternWire and wants to make it the best it can be, so he included an anonymous feedback section on the site.
Ultimately, Fearer said his goal is to help students out, so the more site traffic and constructive feedback he gets, the more beneficial the website can be to all students going forward.