Edward Holroyd Pearce is making the most of the digital revolution to help people improve their employment chances.
Bringing internship candidates more remote workplace opportunities, Holroyd Pearce alongside his co-founder, Dan Nivern, is making the competitive internship market more accessible to people, wherever they might live. We sit down and talk with Holroyd about his digital endeavour.
Company: Virtual Internships
With our Virtual Internship program, we are breaking down the traditional barriers to employability – making it easier for people to get great work experience regardless of their location, mobility, family, or study commitments.
Your business model:
The student, or their university, pays us a fee (currently £695) to source a suitable virtual internship for them, and provide training and mentoring throughout the program. This makes them more confident and more employable.
Do you plan to trade globally and enter new markets in the next 12 months?
Yes – currently most of our student participants are from the UK, while our companies are global. We have launched in the US and are in exciting talks with some large universities.
In five years:
We believe that remote working will be even more commonplace than now (some figures suggest 43% of people do some remote work), and this will boost the profile and importance of experiencing a virtual internship.
In five years it’s quite possible we’ll be delivering over 100,000 programs per year.
Your highest point…
Sitting in on the very first coaching call with a participant. The host company had given some constructive feedback on her performance over the first two weeks of her internship, and you could feel her soaking up our advice and getting excited about the improvements she could make to a couple of her key skills.
Your biggest piece of advice to other entrepreneurs…
Check there really is a demand or market for your service or product, do whatever you can to make your first sales so you can prove to yourself and investors that you’re doing the right thing. Then stay flexible if you need to make tweaks to your business plan.
What would make you a better leader?
There’s room for me to be more organised and structured – even down to meetings and communication – sometimes I’m too ready to jump from topic to topic. Our current COO has really helped me see the importance of clarifying action points at the end of meetings!
How do you measure success?
The demand from students and universities has already shown us we’re doing the right thing – and the anecdotal feedback from participants has been very positive.
As we grow, we will need to track all our program participants to check they are more employable and are seeing better career outcomes.
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