Internships can imply extra than simply an entryway into a brand new profession path, and for Paula Mora Arias, these alternatives might help decide younger professionals’ futures.
Mora Arias is the top of enterprise improvement and strategic partnerships for Symba, creator of a administration platform for workforce improvement applications. She can be part of the corporate’s founding staff.
Symba was born in 2017 with a mission of opening up the workforce. The corporate’s CEO, Ahva Sadeghi, participated in a fellowship with former congressman John Lewis in Atlanta and, as an motion undertaking, based Symba to create equitable entry to the workforce.
Symba gives a tech platform to assist employers handle distant and in-person internships, fellowships, apprenticeships, and different workforce improvement applications. The platform helps organizations deal with logistics like onboarding, communication, and assigning tasks.
“What we’re attempting to do is give staff the correct capability, infrastructure, and instruments to truly carry on extra interns,” Mora Arias informed Lifewire in a cellphone interview. “We wish to open up doorways and supply extra alternatives for college students, particularly college students of coloration and people from non-traditional backgrounds.”
Identify: Paula Mora Arias
Random delight: She loves yoga and can hit a headstand anyplace!
Key quote or motto: “‘Siempre para adelante,’ which implies ‘all the time transfer ahead.’ That is very particular to me as a result of it’s the final phrases my grandma informed me earlier than she handed away a couple of years in the past. Ever since then, it’s been my go-to life quote.”
Social Influence Is Key
Mora Arias and her household moved to Miami when she was 9 years previous. She grew up in Florida, and since her dad and mom nonetheless dwell there, she considers it house. After finding out at Florida Worldwide College, Mora Arias moved to Washington, D.C. in 2017 for an IT and enterprise administration function with the World Financial institution.
She has all the time been within the social impression area so Mora Arias would volunteer as a Spanish trainer and commenced attending women-focused entrepreneurship occasions hosted by the World Financial institution.
Mora Arias met Sadeghi at one among these entrepreneurial occasions in early 2018, and began working with Sadeghi on the facet earlier than becoming a member of the corporate full time.
“I needed to occupy myself with one thing that was additional significant,” Mora Arias mentioned. “I used to be drawn to [Symba] and needed to be taught just a little bit extra and assist not directly.”
With a staff of 20 staff, Symba’s core staff is all girls, the vast majority of that are immigrants. Mora mentioned Symba’s management staff shared an analogous expertise of collaborating in internships to start their careers, so that they needed to ensure extra college students, particularly these from exterior of the U.S., had the identical alternatives out there.
“Internships are clearly one of the vital essential facets of profession success proper after school, however they’re oftentimes additionally very unique in a sure means,” Mora Arias mentioned.
That exclusivity Mora Arias is referring to is the truth that generally internships are unpaid or require relocation, so solely college students with monetary assist from their households or guardians can take them on. Symba is working to ensure all college students can take part in these alternatives.
Challenges and Growth
The principle problem for Symba has been funding, Mora Arias shared. As girls founders of coloration, the leaders of Symba have been in a position to acquire assist from mentors and advisors to assist in discovering financing. The corporate has additionally tapped into accelerator applications like Halcyon in D.C. and Techstars’ Latinx startup group.
Symba is saying a Collection A funding spherical after 4 years in enterprise, regardless of the challenges and limitations. Mora Arias declined to reveal the quantity.
“There’s loads of assist and initiatives being poured into closing this funding hole,” Mora Arias mentioned.
One of the vital rewarding moments in Mora Arias’ expertise working with Symba has been gaining worldwide publicity after competing within the 2021 South Summit. The corporate was topped the worldwide winner out of 8,000 tasks. The founders additionally received to talk with, and pitch, Symba to the King of Spain.
One other spotlight for Mora Arias has been Symba’s attain; she mentioned the corporate has supported roughly 5,000 expertise improvement experiences since its inception. Over the subsequent yr, Mora Arias mentioned Symba is specializing in rising its portfolio of long-term contracts, hiring extra staff members, increasing to new markets, and bettering its proprietary tech. Symba’s platform is mobile-friendly, however it’s web-based, so the corporate additionally plans to look into growing a cell software.
“We’re actually simply beginning to scratch the floor,” Mora Arias mentioned.
11/22/2021 – Correction: Details about funding eliminated on the request of Mora Arias (Paragraph 14, sentence 2).