This week was my first week as CTO at InternMatch! I’ve been sharing this with my family and some friends but I haven’t really advertised it until now. InternMatch is a San Francisco based start up helping college students find internships.
I want to talk a little bit about why I ended up here. For those that know me, my wife and I just moved to the bay area and she is just starting her own new job. As far as I was concerned, at least initially, this was plenty of transition for us in 2012. Our move north has been on our list for years. It is a big accomplishment for us, but a 300 mile move is not a small thing. Yet another change was not eagerly sought after.
InternMatch was not a company that initially jumped out at me as an obvious next job. I’ve been out of college for a while and this was the first I had heard of them. My initial reaction was that they were just another a job search site. How innovative or exciting could that be? If I was going to add another change to 2012 I wanted it to be something I could feel passionate about.
My interviews were great, and the people I talked to were bright and I definitely could see myself working along side them, but I didn’t want “just a job”. My decision came down to a question that I recommend be asked of any start up founder, frankly any company regardless of size, when deciding to work with them in any capacity. I am convinced that a passionate answer to this question indicates a drive and integrity that you want to find in the the people you are working with.
How is your startup going to change the world?
How was InternMatch going to live up to “changing the world”? Their company’s answer to this question is hidden out in the open in their great slogan:
Find your focus
InternMatch could have gone with “Find your internship” or “Find your career”. Internships are important after all given that 70% of all internships convert to full time work, they could focus their catch phrase on getting people their careers.
Focus shows a different purpose. Where the word “career” elicits a vision of climbing ladders towards a goal, “focus” is about passion and dedication towards that goal. This is something that many people strive for and often get little guidance on while in school.
Andrew Maguire, CEO and Founder of InternMatch got really excited when I asked him my “change the world” question. He already knew his answer, and I encourage you to ask him if you get a chance. He wanted to see more people with access to these stepping stones to greater careers. Moreover, InternMatch has the opportunity to expose students to careers in industries and sectors that they may not be aware existed. This is one reason why InternMatch has such a large social enterprise and non-profit presence offering internships.
Andrew’s clear vision for how InternMatch could have an impact on the greater world was inspiring. This is why I choose to be in involved with startups. I was hooked.
With a new home and new jobs for both of us, this year is turing out to be a year of many changes for Sarah and I.