When Aprilynne Alter was in her sophomore year of college, she attended a career fair in hopes of securing a summer internship. In a hot, muggy room featuring long lines of eager students queued in hopes of shooting their shot to the fancy company reps in front of the flashy banners, Aprilynne spotted an uncrowded table. It didn’t have a banner. It didn’t have swag. Just one table, one laptop, and one friendly-looking rep.
This was the beginning of a summer internship that would change Aprilynne’s life. The rep was from a Series A startup based in Silicon Valley. Aprilynne applied for the position, accepted the offer, and moved to Palo Alto, where she learned more in one summer than she did in all four years of college.
Aprilynne continued working remotely for the startup after her internship ended, and she returned to Palo Alto that winter to contribute more in person. During her winter internship, Aprilynne met Cesar Gutierrez, a software developer at the startup.
Whenever she speaks with college or high school students, Aprilynne never fails to recommend interning at a startup. The students’ next question is inevitably, “Where can I find these startup internships?”
The college recruitment environment is not built for startups. In career fairs where the flashiest tables or biggest brand names receive the most attention, startups are overlooked. Even sites designed for startup recruitment often neglect the internship experience. That’s why Aprilynne and Cesar decided to create Tenderfoot, a platform to connect students with internships at startups.