Fear and panic, college semesters cut short, and thousands of employment opportunities out the door. COVID-19 has caused drastic changes on an international scale economically, politically and socially. A cancelled internship just meant that it was time for a new challenge: to better the world while bettering myself. Along with three of my friends from the University of Michigan, who were also out of work and looking for new opportunities, we set out to find something. Through one of our past internship and work with TAMID, we became connected with myInterview: an online video interview platform based out of Israel.
Through myInterview we wished to help groups in need of rapid hiring, in order to keep up with the demands of the COVID-19 crisis. This led to the creation of myVolunteers: an initiative to hire volunteers more efficiently through myInterview so that frontline workers could keep aiding the country instead of dealing with hundreds of interviews and wasting time. We marketed this new initiative by offering to donate a pro-bono package to those businesses helping and working on the frontlines. This package allowed them to use the platform for 3,000 interviews, 20 collaborators, and 5 jobs absolutely free of charge. By giving them this, they would have the means to hire people quickly through predictive analytics and faster decision making skills. This way people can be using their time to tend to those suffering instead of sitting at a desk interviewing people for hours on end.
We researched segments to target that are operating in overdrive as a result of this pandemic. Hospitals within the tri-state area became the main point of contact. The tri-state area includes 30% of all coronavirus cases. That’s three of fifty states accounting for 30% of this disease in an entire country. Because the four of us are all from New York, this hit especially close to home. Feeling the stability of our state crumble beneath us was petrifying. We knew we had to help, but instead of volunteering we began analyzing the process instead. Their current volunteer recruitment process was disorganized and confusing. As stated in an article by the New York Times, applications were getting lost and people did not hear back promptly. Emails and alerts were sent out state-wide requesting help on the frontlines from any workers with medical experience but the next step in hiring was difficult. myVolunteers sped up the application process and made it much more efficient. By syncing hospitals on a larger scale through the same hiring system, everyone can always be on the same page with what candidates are where and how to place them with the simple click of a button. This would therefore make it easier to communicate in times of panic where rapid hiring is needed but also just benefit these places in general on a daily basis by giving them a structured universal system for hiring.
We compiled lists of different hospitals and contact information for their volunteer, human resources, donation departments, personal connections and any other relevant contacts we could find. We then categorized these hospitals into conglomerates and independently owned and then non-profit and for-profit. We gained the skills to campaign on cold calls and emails and even marketing and pitch people the products through demo presentations. The marketing materials were catered specifically to every situation as well as the cold calling and email templates. We obtained valuable interpersonal and marketing skills while having the ability to give back and aid the coronavirus outbreak. Our project was overseen by Eliav Rodman, myInterview’s CMO. We had weekly Sunday meetings bright and early where he was always ready to poke fun at our yawning. He was able to give tangible feedback and always there to talk through and discuss ideas. He helped us secure and communicate with potential clients, even while being halfway across the world.
We reached out every day for weeks fighting for us to be heard. We were taught the 3, 3, 3 method: 3 calls, 3 voicemails, and 3 emails. I’ll be hearing “if you know your party’s extension dial now” in my head for days. Cold email after cold email, waiting on hold for what felt like months (though it was really just a few days) we finally secured our first demo! We rehearsed our presentation for days, perfected the pitch and proposal. We waited on the zoom call for a minute, five minutes now 15 minutes, all sweating through our shirts. We got a phone call saying she was having issues with her connection and just wanted the powerpoint sent to her. We all just sat back and laughed. Eventually we went on to do more live demos of course, but this moment will always stick with me as a fond memory.
Ultimately this internship has been an unforgettable experience. I am able to learn not just how to come up with ideas, but how to formulate and carry them out. It is one thing to think of ways to aid a situation, but another to be a part of the action of making change. There are not many times in your life where you get a team of your best friends to work remotely to help tend to the needs of a pandemic. I am grateful for the valuable experience I am gaining and excited to apply it to my future endeavors.
If you or someone you know would be interested in a five minute demo or learning more please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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