A success story for the Business and Entrepreneurship Sector in FY 19-20 was the partnership with the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center, a non-profit arm of the Nasdaq, to place student interns and faculty externs at Nasdaq early stage companies. Funded by an Industry Sector Project in Common (ISPIC) grant from the Chancellor’s Office, twenty colleges were selected to participate in the project. Stipends were provided to faculty to act as coaches to the students and as liaisons with the Nasdaq startup companies.
Faculty served as coaches to the student interns putting in an estimated 25-30 hours over the course of the program. Mark Keene, a business instructor and director of the hospitality program at Pasadena City College said, “The extra investment was absolutely worth it for the experiences his students gained. Each student was working directly with a founder or a startup. They worked on projects related to marketing and research, but also learned how to develop an entrepreneurial mindset.”
Rafael Cardona, a business instructor at Glendale College, said the experience and Nasdaq’s brand recognition made the program a success. “I think it’s progressive and wonderful that the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center decided to work with our community college students,” Cardona said. “It’s validating for the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center to see the abundant talent that exists in our students. And in turn, the magnitude of this internship opportunity positively impacts the professional aspirations and lives of our hardworking students.”
Glendale College students Jennifer Mendoza-Coronado and Nyah Gaitan interned at Winnie, an app that connects parents with child care providers. Mendoza-Coronado, who graduated from Glendale College this spring, worked on compiling information on attractions and services for families to display on the Winnie app and the company’s blog — things like museums, zoos, and family-friendly events. She said the program gave her valuable experience working in startup culture and would recommend the experience to other students in a heartbeat. “It can seem scary to work for a startup company because they’re still in the trial and error phase, but it’s the best thing you can do if you want to major in business,” Mendoza-Coronado said. “You can see how much work it takes and how focused and driven and organized you have to be. I 100 percent recommend this program and am grateful to Professor Cardona for introducing me to it.” Winnie was so impressed with the Glendale students, both were asked to stay on as interns after the program had ended.
Pasadena City College students interned at Honeyfi, a finance app for couples; Fanalyze, a sports data app; String, an app which adds superpowers to your phone number; and Stache, modern solution to self-storage. Honeyfi’s team said the work of intern Richard Gallegos directly influenced its marketing strategies and materials. “He completed some competitive research/analysis on App Store promotional videos that helped us make the decision to invest in a video,” the founders wrote in an evaluation. “He also was a team player and teamed up with our other intern to create social media content.” Two Pasadena City College students were offered jobs at the end of their internship experience.
Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center Program Coordinator, Isis Torres grew up in Los Angeles and was happy to support students in her hometown through the internship program. “The students demonstrated the ability to develop quickly, think on their toes, and utilize resources to be productive in the tasks that they were assigned,” Torres said. “We believe having students participating in a wide array of entrepreneurial programs provides a unique talent pool for talent hungry startups.”
Student Testimonials from Internmatch Winter 2020
“During the three-month internship, it was the communication with my mentor and the founder that inspired me the most, as it showed me how different it is to project based on the theoretical knowledge learned at school compared to the operation in reality.”
-Fa Zheng, Pasadena
“The experience from this program working with startups is a business major’s dream. You get to apply your skills with an actual company and learn very important info that is priceless. Applying the skills I’ve learned from college with the experience from the program will benefit my future greatly as I plan on using everything I’ve learned for an actual business and feel more confident doing so.”
-Andrew Medina, Reedly College
“Through the Internmatch Program, I have learned about my value and confidence. At the beginning of the program, I felt I did not have any value to offer to Start-up companies and I also did not feel confident in myself. However, those feelings shifted when I realized it was my choice to feel valuable and confident.”
-Juan Ochoa, Reedly
“During this program I have learned to trust my instincts. Despite the stress of current world circumstances, I have been able to apply myself and excel in my work. By doing so my confidence has grown and I am able to see my potential. The most valuable part of the program has been working with mentors. Being able to consult and collaborate with those who have more experience than I do, has been invaluable. I know I have learned things that will stay with me throughout future endeavors.”
–Madison Smith, Mt. San Jacinto Community College
“As business student, any kind of experience in the field that you’re pursuing would be beneficial. By being a part of this internmatch program, I have tackled tasks and projects that challenged me to step out of my comfort zone. I believe that I have learned more technical skills, but also strengthened soft skills like time management and communication during a remote internship.
–Pauline Maninang, City College of San Francisco