Intern Sushi, a site that provides young professionals with the tools to visually showcase their potential to employers, today announced the launch of its early career “Industry Influencer” networking program that connects site users with moguls from the highly coveted industries of television, film, sports, fashion, PR/advertising, music, web, technology, nonprofit and more.
Unlike other networking programs for young professionals, Intern Sushi is providing easy access to top industry executives who want to peel back the curtain on their paths to success and mentor the next generation. Each Influencer will showcase their career journeys via an Intern Sushi digital profile that visually outlines details about their educations and job histories, and reveals more personal details including quotes, advice and side interests they enjoy – everything young professionals need to envision their own paths to success.
I spoke to Intern Sushi's co-founder and CEO, Shara Senderoff ahead of the launch.
Why were you compelled to establish Intern Sushi?
I was compelled to start Intern Sushi to solve the significant transparency issue between candidates and hiring managers from the start of one's career. We lack an efficient way to understand the necessary components of humanity and emotion within the traditional hiring process. Individuals are not keywords and treating them as such buries everything that makes us special. Making a hiring decision is hardly given the weight it deserves. Making the wrong decision wastes incredible time and resources and can ultimately slow down the productivity of an entire organization. My vision for Intern Sushi and beyond was to alter this process from the earliest stage, with the youngest of talent, to better embrace what they have to offer.
Our goal was to transform the resume into a digital tool that helps you obtain opportunities and not just jobs. Giving a transparent view of your story allows you to move someone and emotion is what opens doors. We do things for others because we want to and not because we have to.
Hence the creation of our Industry Influencer Program. Our Digital Profiles lend themselves incredibly well to telling the career stories of those we admire. The Influencer Program highlights the journey's of Industry innovators and masterminds via interactive Profiles similar to those interns create on our site in order to educate, motivate and inspire young talent beginning their careers.
Users can submit their Profiles to be reviewed by Influencers to win an opportunity to have an Informational Interview or receive a "badge" of their approval, acknowledging your determination to succeed and the incredible presentation of your story.
How has it actively helped its participants?
Our digital profiles have showcased talent in a professional yet exciting way. We've created a place for users to represent who they are professionally and what they want to be. It messes their personality with their goals and paints a picture that captures far more than a piece of paper.
Shonda Rhimes and Christina Weiss Lurie are involved in the program- how is their experience and knowledge making a positive difference?
Most interns lack the knowledge of how the leaders within their fields got where they are. The internet also lacks a place that highlights such Influencers journeys in a clear and compelling way. By sharing their "raw" stories (raw sushi, get it?), our Influencers are creating educational tools to help aspiring talent understand the jobs and opportunities within their desired. Sharing anecdotes of their obstacles makes them relatable and accessible to those who may never had access before. Up until now, in order to speak to such a thought-leader, you needed a connection or relationship to open the door. Our Influencer Program now gives interns and recent grads and opportunity to gain this exposure solely by presenting their stories and showcasing their talent. The eventual interaction at that point with the Influencer is earned and appreciated.