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Reducing obstacles for business interns

by Gregory Todaro September 15, 2015

The Elite Sphere is looking for “top business students” to connect online with businesses

A new initiative started by a Concordia student is trying to connect business students to companies looking for interns.

The Elite Sphere was co-founded by Concordia finance student Yann Soucy and McGill accounting student Philip Trifiro. The duo created the concept last spring and the website was launched this summer, Soucy said.

The Elite Sphere is a site where business students can create a profile that can be viewed by companies looking for interns.

“The idea is to get companies to partner with us,” said Soucy. “They’ll be able to go on the website and look through the ideal candidates through the profiles which will be sorted by specific categories.”

He said the ultimate goal is to bridge the gap between companies and students looking for internships and reverse the “typical procedure” of students applying to companies.

“The companies can find their own candidates extremely fast by themselves on an easy to use website,” he said.

The Elite Sphere is looking for business students in the Montreal area interested in joining the site, as well as companies looking to recruit business students for internships. Soucy said he is also working on creating group tours of businesses where students can visit a company’s headquarters or offices to get a feel of a company’s work environment.

Standing Apart

One of the main questions Soucy and Trifiro had when they started The Elite Sphere was how they were to set themselves apart from other websites—particularly LinkedIn, said Soucy.

“LinkedIn is already so big, it has that name everyone wants to work with,” he said. “The main way that we are different are the requirements that students needs to have in order to become members.”

Unlike other job posting sites, The Elite Sphere only takes students with both a GPA of 3.5 or above and extra curricular activities. While Soucy admits GPA isn’t the “perfect indicator” of a candidate’s abilities, employers can still learn a lot about a student from their grades.

“It is an indicator in the sense that if someone is able to perform well academically and at the same time get involved with extracurriculars … it shows this person can do numerous things and can focus on numerous things at the same time,” he said. “That’s something companies tend to look at, especially in business.”

He also said the grade requirements are being reevaluated based on different focuses. While in some categories grades are vital for employers to know a candidate’s skill level, “Extracurriculars are much more important than a good GPA for advertising, for example.”

Business Partnerships

Soucy says he’s working to create partnership with business companies looking for interns.

The Elite Sphere just began a partnership with Phocion Investments, a Montreal-based consulting firm who will look to the site for interns. Soucy says small business companies can benefit greatly from access to interns in The Elite Sphere’s format.

“It costs a lot [to recruit],” he said. “So when [small businesses] need interns, you don’t necessarily have the funds to allocate to a human resources department, but you don’t really want to pay a headhunter to look for someone for you, so it’s a great way to be able to look for the idea candidate ahead of making some sort of ad.”

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