Business School graduates connect students with firms impacted by COVID-19 through innovative platform

Trinity Business School graduates, Paddy Ryder and Rob Muldowney, have been connecting students struggling to find internships with small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic through their platform, Covid Interns.

Covid Interns is a social enterprise that connects small businesses facing the commercial challenges of Covid-19 with volunteer university students and graduates, with specialised skills, who can help to make a lasting difference within their communities by these businesses to navigate the crisis.

In return, the platform offers students and graduates willing to help the opportunity to gain valuable experience in fields such as digital marketing, financial planning, consulting, web development, PR campaigns, content writing and social media management.

It has already successfully placed over 150 students from over 30 universities and business schools, and has supported over 100 businesses across 25 industries.

Having placed students from every recognised Irish university, and over 20 universities in the UK – including the University of Cambridge, The London School of Economics, the University of Edinburgh, Imperial College London – Covid Interns has recently re-launched for the 2021 cohort.

Receiving hundreds of CVs over the last few weeks, the initiative is now looking to place these students across a wide-range of businesses.

Paddy Ryder, co-founder of Covid Interns, says:

“Like many organisations Covid Interns was born out of frustration, given the difficulties Rob and I faced securing summer internships post-graduation. Having realised we were not alone, we set about mobilising these students to help Irish SMEs, the lifeblood of the Irish economy. Similarly, we noted that many businesses were crippled by the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns as traditional revenue streams dried up meaning a digital pivot was essential. We felt many family owned and operated businesses were ill-equipped to make this transition so set about playing our part to help.”

Rob Muldowney, co-founder of Covid Interns, says:

“We have been delighted with the success of the initiative in offering a very distinct type of work opportunity to organisations and young people during 2020, both here in Ireland and abroad. Our placements areusuallyvolunteer projects and extracurricular roles that are flexible, remote, and work around students’ college schedules. The placements have been highly rated by past clients and candidates, and the testimonies offered by each demonstrate the value-add in each case and the wider social impact Covid Interns has made, and will continue to make throughout 2021.”

Conor Edwards, Alumni and Corporate Relations Manager at Trinity Business School, says:

“In these difficult times it is great to see our alumni connecting small businesses – many of whom are struggling with the challenges of Covid-19 – with university students and graduates. By connecting top talent with these companies, it is breathing new life into how our SMEs are navigating this crisis, while also providing our students and alumni with invaluable real-world work experience.”