Our problem statement speaks to SDG 4, to have inclusive quality education and learning opportunities for all. It Speaks specifically to target 4.4, that is increasing the number of people who have relevant skills for decent jobs and entrepreneurship in today’s society.
As undergrad students, we’ve found it very challenging to be able to get work experience in terms of internships and vacwork that are required for our degrees, and even just to have experience to be able to apply for jobs. And it’s not just us. High school students are facing the same problem with job shadowing opportunities, bursaries and universities to go to. It’s an overwhelming task, and we don’t know where to start knocking. To top it all of, now with the pandemic, open days for High school students are cancelled, Career expo’s for undergads are canceled. Unfortunately for most, it is the only opportunity they had to connect with these companies and universities.
This problem also speaks to productive employment and decent work for all, SDG 8, as well as, in the longterm, achieving sustainable income for the lower socio-economic classes of our society SDG 10.
Our proposed solution is a networking app, The NextStep. It is a Web based application with a html&css frontend and python backend, and it that connects grade 10-12 learners and undergrad students with mentors from industry and academia, with universities and with companies so they can exchange information on internships/job shadowing, bursary opportunities. And ofcourse to meet like-minded students. This platform is specifically aimed at students and they are provided with a mentor to help them in their journey to gain experience applying for work, creating impactful resumes and preparing for interviews. It is built around an algorithm that matches students with mentors and opportunities best suited to them.