Entrepreneurship student highlights marketing expertise with nonprofits and startup work
Every Ohio University student’s experience is different. Sophomore Parwinder Singh is already making the most of his experience, inside and outside the classroom.
Singh is a College of Business student, majoring in entrepreneurship, minoring in computer science and earning a strategic leadership certificate. He is also looking to add a cybersecurity certificate and marketing minor, in the hopes that his diverse range of education will help him be a better leader in the workforce.
“I eventually want to become a project manager for Google or Apple,” Singh said. “I want to earn these certificates because as a project manager, I should be able to understand everything my team is working on, from technology, to marketing and design. Eventually, there are a few targeted areas I want to work on in my life, which include education, poverty, sustainability, and world hunger.”
As a first-year student, Singh worked for the Ohio University Innovation Center, a business incubator that provides support to startup companies around Athens and the local region. He assisted with marketing and technological needs, working with businesses throughout the community.
“I was really grateful for making the connections with other startups around Athens thanks to the Innovation Center,” Singh said. “Working with Stacy [Strauss], and other faculty at the Innovation Center helped me to develop my professional skills and helped me build connections around the Athens area.”
This past summer, Singh had a marketing internship with Mission Met, a consulting firm for nonprofit organizations located in Athens. There, he helped with the creation of marketing materials, campaign planning and execution. He worked with nonprofits not just around Athens but also ones located in California, Australia and New Zealand.
Working with Mission Met allowed Singh to help non-profits, and to learn more skills that would help grow his own startup.
“I felt I wanted to expand my team in my startup, and I was missing team management skills which Mission Met taught me over the summer. I was able to learn more about CRM (customer relationship management), CMS (content management system) software, how to create a team for a project and how to be a good manager,” Singh said. “They were welcoming and gave me a lot of freedom on how I wanted my internship to look, which allowed me to achieve great results and learn many skills throughout the internship.”
Singh’s innovative startup journey began before he even stepped foot on the Athens bricks.
When Singh, who is from India, was in the 10th grade, he wanted to learn more about programming. At the same time, he was also curious about how he could create more of a following on Instagram. Combining the two interests, Singh looked for programs that could help manage his Instagram, finding many were very expensive or required the program to be running for long hours at a time.
“I wasn't experienced with programming and didn't have any investment. But YouTube helped me to learn to program, and after that I messaged many developers on Instagram to partner with me on the project. After more than a thousand messages, only one of them agreed to work on the project as I didn't have any money to pay them. My first startup was then InstaEASY,” Singh said. “InstaEASY is an easy-to-use web-based automation tool for your Instagram account. Using InstaEASY, you can mass interact with your targeted audience and grow your brand and profile on Instagram.”
According to Singh, over the years more than 1,500 businesses used InstaEASY to grow their account before Instagram put restrictions on how many actions users could take a day. However, InstaEASY opened the door to many worldwide connections that Singh still works with today.
His work with InstaEASY has even been featured in India Today and the London Post. Singh has also been highlighted as an “Instagram Expert” by Forbes, and he writes for Entrepreneur magazine and website as a contributor, sharing his marketing and entrepreneurship expertise.
Singh continues to be interested in programming. He recently participated in Hack Harvard 2022, a hackathon held at Harvard University, where he developed a reward system application to encourage students to go to class. This was inspired by research and hearing from staff members that some students are having a hard time adjusting to in-person classes after the pandemic.
“Hackathons give me an opportunity and a space to meet other people interested in the same things as me, who are motivated and have a unique way to see problems and how we can solve them,” Singh said. “I think technology is the solution to most of the problems we are facing currently from sustainability to hunger.”
When he is not helping businesses or working on his own startups, Singh stays busy on campus. Singh is currently working with Director of Strategic Leadership Kim Jordan in the Walter Center for Strategic Leadership to develop and build a virtual leadership simulator for students.
He also works as a resident advisor, supporting other students in Jefferson Hall and is the director of outreach for the National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH) Joseph A. Burke chapter of Ohio University.
“I love being a resident advisor,” Singh said. “We get to know more about each other, and we’re building a community by doing events together, too. I also get to help them if they’re facing any problems, and I’m there for whenever they need me.”
Singh is president of the Entrepreneurship Club. He is also a part of the Pepsi Leadership Program, a year-long development program for second-year students, and part of the University Innovation Fellows 2022 cohort.
When he can, Singh also volunteers with the TenderFoot Learning Lab, a nonprofit near Athens, whose mission is to educate people to live and work sustainably.
Singh is not afraid to learn something new – he embraces any opportunity.
He encourages other students to not be afraid to send emails or try to network with professionals, in the University or in companies, to find connections. Singh noted many of his experiences were made possible in part because of earlier connections he formed.
“Our campus has a lot of opportunities that not everyone knows about them, but all of them are just an email away,” Singh said.
From internships, startups, student organizations to volunteer work, Singh’s experiential learning activities have helped shape his OHIO story. Learn more about experiences being offered at OHIO at ohio.edu/experience-ohio.