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Fredrik van Huynh is a Swedish-Cambodian entrepreneur and the Co-founder and CEO of Absolute Internship, a leading global internship program matching university students with internships for in-person and remote positions in top companies all around the globe.

Since 2009, Absolute Internship has helped thousands of students join more than 800 corporate partners in cities including Barcelona, Beijing, Hong Kong, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Paris. Interns develop marketable skills for future employment, and the program empowers them to step outside of their comfort zones.

In 2019, Fredrik was ranked among the top 25 Swedish entrepreneurs of the year for disrupting industries and breaking boundaries.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Fredrik van Huynh talks about how students use Absolute Internship to get internship placements in international companies
  • How companies hire interns through Fredrik’s company
  • Why Fredrik started Absolute Internship
  • The reason behind Fredrik’s business model
  • Paying the price: how Fredrik lived below his means to keep his company going
  • Why did Fredrick keep the company going after three years without making a profit?
  • Fredrik talks about how Absolute Internship got its first paying students
  • The value of international internships

In this episode…

When Fredrik van Huynh started his company and decided to charge students for internship placements in companies worldwide, he got a lot of negative feedback. Some people even called his business model exploitative.

But Fredrik’s position was simple: students could get internship placements in their city through friends and family, but not many people have access to placement in companies abroad. More importantly, if students can pay high tuition fees to schools, they can afford to access quality internship experiences.

However, Fredrik didn’t envision three years of living on instant coffee, pasta, and tomato sauce, with two pairs of trousers, and facing every reason to throw in the towel. Now universities are reaching out, and thousands of students gladly pay and come on board. How Fredrik turned things around is a story you don’t want to miss.

Listen to this episode of the Inspired Insider with Dr. Jeremy Weisz featuring the Co-founder and CEO of Absolute Internship, Fredrik van Huynh. They discuss why Fredrik decided to sell internships, how he sold them to students, got companies on board, and built a thriving business from the ground up.

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Episode Transcript

Jeremy Weisz 0:19

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here, Founder where I talk about inspiration entrepreneurs leaders. And you know, I’m here with Fredrik van Huynh of Absolute Internship. Before I formally introduce Fredrik, Fredrik, I always like to talk about other interviews that are interesting to people and since Fredrik’s lived all over the place, Thailand, Sweden, right now he’s in Barcelona. And you know, I’ve had some international interviews. I had Urmas, the Pipedrive co founder who talked about having brain surgery getting married, moving from Estonia to the us all in the same year. And that that time they had about 10,000 paying customers when I interviewed him in 2013. Now they have over 100,000 customers on Pipedrive. It’s an amazing journey to see that I also did a bunch of interviews with top Israeli business leaders. One of them Uri Adoni, who wrote the book, The Unstoppable Startup, so check it out, and much more. This episode is brought to you by Rise25. At Rise25 we help businesses give to and connect to their dream 100 relationships and partnerships. And we do that by helping you run your podcast essentially, we’re an easy button for a company to launch and run their podcasts. You know, for me Fredrik, the number one thing in my life is relationships. I’m always looking at ways to give to my best relationships. And I found no better way to do that over the past decade to profile the companies and people I most admire and have them on my podcast. So if you’ve thought of podcasting, you should hands down. If you have questions, go to Email us at [email protected] We both John and I have been doing it for over a decade now and absolutely still love it. So today I’m excited to introduce Fredrik van Huynh is a Swedish Cambodian entrepreneur, the Co-founder of Absolute Internship, which is a leading global Internship Program matching university students with internships in person and remote a top companies all around the globe. Since 2009 Absolute Internship has helped 1000s of students with more than 800 corporate partners in cities like Barcelona, Beijing, Hong Kong, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Paris, Shanghai, Singapore, and is remote now, so you could pretty much work anywhere with any company. So while developing marketable skills for future employment, they the program really empowers interns to step outside of their comfort zone. And Freddy was ranked in 2019, among the top 25 Swedish entrepreneurs, disrupting industries and breaking boundaries. And Fredrik, when you look at some of the founders and entrepreneurs coming out of Sweden, some of the people on that list are pretty remarkable. You have Daniel Ek of Co-founder of Spotify, Niklas Zennström, Co-founder of Skype, Elina Berglund, Co-founder of Natural Cycles, and many more Fredrik. Thanks for joining me.

Fredrik van Huynh 3:19

Thank you. I’m very humbled to be here. Jeremy, thank you very much for the invite.

Jeremy Weisz 3:24

Yeah. And I want to just give people an idea about Absolute Internship to start. And we’ll walk through some of the milestones. Talk to people right now about, you know, how does it work if a student is interested, and then we’ll talk about how does it work if a corporation is interested?

Fredrik van Huynh 3:44

It’s pretty straightforward, Jeremy, so a student would essentially just go to, click on the Apply Now button, fill out the form the application form, upload their resume, and then wait for us to hear back from them. We’ll interview we’ll set up an interview within three, four days with a student over Google meet or Zoom. And then should the student be accepted. They will find out a few days later and get an invite to pay a $500 program deposit and at that time, they’re guaranteed an internship placement with us.

Jeremy Weisz 4:17

What are the criteria for acceptance?