Internbytes was launched in March by Jesus Maximino Hernandez, Timothy McCrary and Erik Rivera as a career development platform for underrepresented students.
The platform allows students from a variety of backgrounds and fields of interests such as communications, sports, technology and sciences to express their opinions and share tips with fellow students who are in the quest of securing job experiences through internships.
McCrary graduated December 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in computer science with a focus on software engineering. Jesus Maximino Hernandez graduated December 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Erik Rivera graduated December 2021 with a master’s degree in software engineering.
The three of them quickly came to the realization that Latinos were not represented enough in internships and that they had little to no guidance of the application process or recruiting. Thus, the idea of networking among students was born.
Internbytes is targeted towards underrepresented students such as first-generation students, Latinos, Asian Americans, African Americans and women. The team’s goal is to function as a recruiting service for employers to find great candidates that may go unnoticed due to their background.
The team described their platform as a “Rate My Professor” for intern-ships. The well-known website among college students allows them to grade their professors and leave comments based on their experiences, including comments on how hard they grade, if they follow the syllabus and if they recommend the professor or not. Internbytes follows that path and allows students to rate companies to give other students an idea on what to expect.
“The whole purpose of Intern-bytes is to have students get on Internbytes (to) help each other in the community and then from that we’ll have employers who recruit these students who want these internships,” McCrary said.
McCrary recalls not having any guidance from his parents due to the limited exposure Latinos have to these programs. Thus, they made it a goal to help people find a space for them to share their experiences and ratings with and of companies.
“When we started, one thing we found with every internship we went to was that there were no Latino students anywhere; it was just us,” McCrary said. “Hispanics specifically are the most underrepresented group in the internships, so it was a problem.”
While the website is still grow-ing and with future plans since its launch March 1, Internbytes has received around 1,200 subscribers from the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
In May, the team won first place in the El Paso Pitch Startup Competition hosted by UTEP Blackstone Launchpad and Success Through Technology Education (STTE) Foundation. In 2021 it won second place in the Grand Pitch Competition hosted by Blackstone Launch-Pad & Techstars.
McCrary, Hernandez and Rivera started working on their website two years ago while still attending classes. After the website was done, professors allowed the team to go to different classes and promote their project.
“It was tough. We were in school. We were in internships, and we didn’t know anything about creating websites or businesses at all,” McCrary said. “So, we had a lot of time in the UTEP library just figuring out how to make a company. It was definitely not easy.”
Students can ask questions, find reviews on companies or intern-ship programs, and guides on how to make a good resume or excel in an interview. There is also a feature called “Spaces” which allows people to join groups where they can find content or students they relate to, for example, “First-Gen Students,” “Women in Tech,” and “Interna-tional Students.”
For more information about Internbytes visit www.internbytes.com.
Maria L. Guerrero Duran is the web and copy editor and may be reached at [email protected]; @bymariaguerrero on Instagram and Twitter.