Twenty19.com helps college students learn, earn and chill out

Coimbatore lad Karthikeyan Vijaykumar and his friend Rahul Prabhakar have started twenty19.com/ The website links students to employers, helping them find internships, training courses and, competitions and events of their interest.

What's best about is that you can search for all these opportunities specifically for your city in fields like information technology, sales and marketing and even agriculture. The site also posts jobs which let you work from home.

“We've been doing market research for the renewable energy industry and semiconductor companies for about two-and-a-half years now. Many students used to come to us for internships,” says Karthikeyan.

“We found they had no platform to apply. Companies too had no proper channel to choose interns from. That's when we thought of creating a website to deal with this,” he explains.

Karthikeyan and his friends hung out at college canteens in Chennai, where they are based. They also went to conferences companies would attend. The germination the website happened on the streets of Chennai, talking to students and employers.

“Companies were being spammed with applications. They weren't even opening those emails. They needed suitable interns and were willing to pay if their need was met,” says Karthikeyan.

Twenty19.com hosts ads with full details of the internship- qualifications and skills required and, a description of the job and the company, stipend and so on. Prospective interns search for openings in the fields and cities they are interested in. They post their applications to the employer's inbox on the site. No one's spammed and no applications are lost.

Firms have come back to them with three to four internships more, after trying them out. They've also been getting fan mail from students.

The numbers speak for themselves. Since the site started in March, more than 12,000 students and 550 companies have registered. Stipends offered amount to Rs. 1.1 crore. “70 per cent of companies pay stipends. The average monthly stipend offered is Rs. 5000 and the highest has been Rs. 20,000,” says Karthikeyan.

He adds that not only does the site give opportunities to do projects, but 60 per cent of companies offering internships also offer jobs to successful interns. Young graduates can make informed decisions about choosing jobs, having interned in the companies earlier.

The second service of the site is the opportunities it lists. The opportunities page includes contests, events, management workshops, culturals and so on, for college students. Here too, the search can be filtered according to area of interest and location.

The third service is the listings of training courses. So far 35 institutes have registered. They mostly offer training in various kinds of software. Some are very niche. For example there's an institute listed in Chennai that teaches you to program I-phone applications.

The site also has tips on resume writing, videos and a blog- all about helping rookies in the job market. On the flip side, the controls of the site are a bit soggy. A few pages don't load. Sometimes it just shuts down.

Twenty19, named after the age group it caters to, holds workshops in colleges. They even have a campus ambassador programme to attract more students. “There's so much more we can do,” adds Karthikeyan. “The best way to learn is on the job.”

RELATED NEWS

Street hawker to Obama's guestJuly 9, 2010

Linking up to connect dreamsMay 14, 2010

The Robin that soaredApril 14, 2010