By Summer Meza
When searching for volunteer opportunities, internships, job openings and information about the school and community, the sheer amount of websites and companies out there can be overwhelming for students.
A new smart phone application, Act On, is being developed that will help consolidate it all and make it easier to get involved with nonprofit and activist groups.
As a school located in Silicon Valley, a technology center of the state, Santa Clara has the advantage to interact with startup companies and the latest up-and-coming technological advances.
One of these companies, Inertia Technology, has been working with the university to test its latest app.
Entrepreneur Michael White has launched this free app that allows nonprofit and other benefit organizations to reach people who may be searching for institutions like theirs. His mobile platform brings together information from various groups in order to help students find ways to get involved with volunteer work or internships.
“Act On works in harmony with the mission of the university,” said White. “Anybody who has a desire to be engaged with their community or causes they care about would be a great candidate (to use the app).”
White came to Santa Clara to test the value of the platform, since the students here are often involved in social benefit groups.
“Anybody walking around campus with free time has their phone in front of their face,” said White. “I would hope that students might use this time to get passionate, get involved and get engaged.”
The app is simple to use – after downloading it, users can check off their interests, such as “animal rights,” “women’s health” or “environmentalism,” and the app customizes itself to draw together information from organizations. Users can quickly scroll through the app and learn how to get involved in ways that they may not otherwise have known about without extensive research.
“Any benefit organization can use it for free,” said White. “They can launch through Inertia Technology and immediately create content that will show up on the app.”
The accessibility of the app gives it a great deal of potential to bring awareness to different events on campus as well. For example, Santa Clara Community Action Program could use Act On to connect to students and spread the word about service events they are hosting.
In addition to Act On’s benefit to those who download the app, the startup itself has helped some Santa Clara students gain experience in the field of business and technology.
Senior Justin Graham has been an intern at Inertia Technology over the past several months, and believes it has been a very valuable experience.
“Most internships as a student are made up of filing work, getting coffee, stuff like that,” said Graham. “With a startup like Inertia, you get relied on as a co-worker rather than a student.” The company plans to recruit new interns in the fall, which is an exciting opportunity for Santa Clara students interested in entrepreneurship, communications and marketing.
“Our vision is to be able to become the marketplace for people to get involved with social benefit,” said White.
And with so many students reliant upon their cell phones, looking into the future of summer jobs and possible internships, it seems that Act On will do just that.
Contact Summer Meza at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852.