Swifternships: Bridging the Gap Between Students and Local Businesses through Micro-Internships

The journey began at WildHacks 2023, a hackathon event that brought together four friends—Justin, Ryan, Andrew, and I—with a common goal: to create a platform that would facilitate experiential learning opportunities for college students and support local businesses by connecting them with young talent. The idea for Swifternships was born out of our personal struggles with finding internship opportunities and the difficulties local businesses faced in recruiting college students.

The Birth of Swifternships

Drawing from our experiences and recognizing the mutual challenges faced by both students and businesses, we embarked on a mission to create Swifternships—a quick micro-internships platform designed to offer meaningful professional experiences to college students and help local businesses grow by connecting them with the brightest young minds.

Swifternships Platform: A Comprehensive Solution

The platform caters to both students and businesses, with separate onboarding processes for each. Students provide their background information and can quickly access job listings, apply for micro-internship opportunities within two minutes, edit their profiles, and view their submitted applications.

Local businesses, on the other hand, can post micro-internship opportunities targeting college students and manage applications to each job listing they create.

Building Swifternships: The Tech Stack

Swifternships was built using a React.js and Tailwind CSS frontend, with a Google Cloud backend. The platform primarily leveraged TypeScript, alongside HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. React Router was employed for smooth navigation, and SweetAlert2 was used for modal elements.

Several APIs were integrated into the platform, including Firebase for real-time database access, Twilio for live notification delivery, and Sendinblue for email notifications.

Overcoming Challenges

The development process was not without its challenges, with one significant issue being a persistent bug in one of our GitHub branches. Initially, we used a temporary workaround by "manually merging" our code, but we soon realized this was unsustainable and spent hours debugging before eventually resolving the issue.

Achievements and Learnings

Despite the challenges, we were proud to have developed a fully functional MVP of our platform, allowing college students and businesses to connect through a comprehensive suite of tools. Along the way, we learned new web development techniques, APIs, and frameworks such as SweetAlert2, Tailwind CSS, and Firebase Realtime Database.

Swifternships Launch and Future Expansion

Swifternships is now live at swifternships.tech, initially catering to Northwestern University college students. We have already partnered with 12 businesses that have posted nine real and exciting micro-internship opportunities on the platform.

Our plans include expanding to other Midwest universities in the third quarter of 2023, and ultimately reaching out to universities across the United States by the end of the year. If you're a student seeking a micro-internship or a business looking to hire, join Swifternships today!