33. Paragon One

paragon one

Company: Paragon One

Website: https://www.paragonone.com/

Founder(s): Matt Wilkerson & Byron Hsu


About Paragon One

Paragon One is on a mission to democratise access to work experiences so that underserved and underrepresented students, who are traditionally left out of hiring processes, can build exposure to leading brands and industries.

By partnering with top companies in different industries, like Hewlett-Packard, Facebook, and National Geographic, Paragon One turns interesting business projects into flexible, part-time Remote Externships that enable students to build their resumes during the year and on their own schedules. Historically, internships have served as the bridge between college and the workforce for students. But the old internship model is antiquated and inaccessible for many students from underserved backgrounds.

Paragon One works behind the scenes with enterprise partners to identify a project that students can work on remotely for just 10 hours a week and then entirely handles training development, recruiting, mentoring, assessing, and credentialing students. Company managers devote just 1 hour a week to virtual meetings, while students receive a structured, scaffolded educational experience that teaches them employable skills, boosts their resumes, and allows them to network.

Because the projects are hosted remotely on Paragon One’s Externship platform and supported by mentorship and training, they’re accessible to diverse students, particularly those from underserved or underrepresented communities, irrespective of their backgrounds, majors, and schools. For companies that are investing in diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, Externships are a quick and impactful way to share their brands with underrepresented students, while supporting the development of the next generation of the workforce.