Ben Orchard, a senior majoring in interdisciplinary studies, and Jared Nygren, a senior studying business management, launched on June 20, 2016, the first phase of an online platform for businesses to connect with students.

Orchard said the platform is better known as the Junto or Talent Cloud.

“It’s an online platform that facilitates the connection between businesses and college students to complete project specific work,” Orchard said. “We have also described Junto Talent as the first university-based freelance platform.”

Junto Talent works to bring businesses and students who are willing to work together, according to the Junto Talent website.

Orchard said they did hours of research, contacted over 55 different businesses in southeastern Idaho and identified project specific work that will add value to those businesses.

“Junto Talent connects students who are hungry for pre-professional experience,” Orchard said.

Orchard said they thought of the idea while accompanying a BYU-Idaho professor and a group of BYU-I students during a visit to Silicon Valley.

“Jared and I both felt a renewal of motivation to make something happen,” Orchard said.

Orchard said students should get more involved with the Talent Cloud because Orchard and Nygren themselves are both proud students of BYU-I.

Nygren said Junto Cloud will benefit the students of BYU-I.

“The students are the lifeblood of Junto Talent,” Nygren said. “Our goal is to connect students with the professional world better than any other system; if we aren’t making students’ lives better, then we have wasted our time.”

Orchard said the best way for students to get involved with the Junto Cloud is for them to fill out a brief survey about their major, experience and what they are looking for on the Junto Talent website.

Nygren said it was often challenging to build Junto Talent at the pace the team desired despite the collective talent and good concept.

Orchard said this is only the beginning for Junto Talent.

“There is still much work to be done and more challenges to face in the future,” Orchard said. “Although it is challenging, I believe our team is up to the task.”

Orchard said it felt like a great step forward to launch the app.

“With every step forward, there are new things to get done, more students to connect with and more businesses to work with,” Orchard said. “It can be difficult to find time to build onto Junto Talent, but my team and I can do it.”

Orchard said they also received a lot of help from their designer, Daniel Ho, who is a BYU-I alumus.

“Daniel, Jared and I could not have achieved creating Junto Talent without help from one another,” Orchard said.

Nygren said creating a system like Junto Talent has been a dream of his for a while.

“Taking a concept through ideation to launch has been a long-time dream of mine,” Nygren said.

Orchard said the platform will continue to grow and all students can get involved by accessing the official Junto Talent website.

“This is the perfect way for students to connect with their professional side,” Orchard said. “Efforts to continue to build onto Junto Talent have not ceased and will not cease.”