Intern Sushi is trying to improve the often-horrible internship application/selection process, and it’s expanding with full nationwide support, as well as adding new industries.
Here’s the idea: Resumes are pretty useless when it comes to choosing interns. Actually, they’re pretty flawed in general, but they’re particularly bad for internships, where employers are probably choosing one or two candidates from a large list of applicants whose resumes are going to look pretty similar (because they don’t have much professional experience yet). Instead, with Intern Sushi, users are asked to create a profile that captures their personality and ambitions. That centerpiece of the profile is a short video, but users can include a portfolio of their work, too. They can also create content tailored to a specific opening, like a video cover letter outlining why they really really really want that internship.
Employers, meanwhile, can build a presence that isn’t just promoting a few openings, but instead the general company culture — so even if there isn’t an opening at the moment, a potential intern could still stumble on a company profile. Think, “Boy, I really want to work there,” and check back later. That’s one of the reasons Intern Sushi’s traffic continues to grow even when most companies aren’t looking for interns, said co-founder and CEO Shara Senderoff.
The startup was previously available in 15 major cities, and it has already worked with more than 4,000 companies, including Warner Music Group, FunnyOrDie.com, and Lionsgate Entertainment. Senderoff said there’s been plenty of interest outside those markets, which is why Intern Sushi built up an extensive waiting list of companies. In fact, the company opened its doors nationally without a big announcement last week, and Senderoff said the number of employers signing up every day has already doubled.
Intern Sushi previously allowed employers to list internships in advertising/PR, TV, film, fashion, sports, publishing, art, music, theatre, and web and technology. Now it’s adding finance, politics, hospitality, architecture, nonprofit, and consumer goods.
The service is free for both employers and interns, but the startup offers a paid service to interns with features like early application periods. Senderoff said she’ll be launching a premium business product next year, as well as revamped profiles, which she described as “insanely more advanced” and “profiles on crack.”