The situation around coronavirus has brought on widespread uncertainty for students, leaving many scrambling to determine their summer and post-graduation plans. When a request came from the Center for Career Development for alumni to create new or share existing internship or project work opportunities at their organizations, Shikha Uberoi Bajpai '13 acted fast.
"I knew that students were studying from home, but I completely forgot about their summers," said Bajpai, the president of Indi Individuals Inc., a startup based in Newport Beach, California co-founded in June 2019. "I received the call to action email from the Asian American Alumni Association of Princeton and in that moment, I saw a tremendous opportunity to help and serve, and also to receive brilliant minds participating in the growth of our company."Bajpai submitted a posting for a single position, a project manager to assist her and the chief technology officer with the development and launch of their upcoming app. Within a few days, she was inundated with emails from students interested in the position. Recognizing an opportunity to help students and create a talent pipeline for Indi Individuals, Bajpai pitched the chairperson and other executives to expand the scope from one internship to 30 different positions, including part-time independent projects for students to pursue throughout the summer.
"You can't have nothing to do over the summer. It's just not the Princeton way. It's going to hurt, and much more than not having something on your resume. Your mind goes numb and that's a very painful experience for such intellectual students," said Bajpai.
As a young company, Bajpai explained that the students participating in the Indi Individuals internships and project work will have an opportunity to make an outsized impact. Students will be working on engineering and quality assurance for the app, as well as doing user testing and research.
"It's very much a hands-on, leadership type of role," explained Bajpai. "You're in charge of specific projects that can make or break the client and app experience.”
As of early May, nearly 150 alumni volunteered to share summer opportunities for students, provide information interviews and participate in virtual events organized by the Center for Career Development. Learn more about the ways alumni can volunteer to help students with their career development.