The liberal arts education I received was instrumental in my expansive interests and ability to explore different fields. While I was dedicated to a psychology/neuroscience track, I took a computer science course and fell in love with programming.
Degree and Class Year
What three words would you use to describe L&C?
How do you describe Savviest to the uninitiated?
The way young people land jobs is changing for good: College students expect better, more interesting internships and first jobs. Young professionals are more focused on finding meaning in their careers, and are now switching jobs every two years. Competition for such skilled, high-impact jobs is at an all time high as workers move up market and face increased pressure from remote workers.
Collegiate career centers do a great job preparing students for success when they graduate, but it’s nearly impossible to work deeply with every student. As students increasingly expect career success as a measure of their institution’s success, career centers have higher expectations as well.
Despite these monumental changes, tools for students and young job seekers haven’t kept pace, and current solutions fail to make full use of helpful new technologies. This has led to disparate opportunities: young professionals with strong existing networks, or those who already know best practices continue to succeed. The rest are left applying to more jobs than ever and are unsure about their paths forward.
Savviest is the most effective way to break out of that cycle and remove the barriers so many face in their careers. It is the only platform that combines a tech-enabled coaching marketplace, community, and AI to give job seekers superpowers. We work directly with students and alumni, as well as with career and alumni services departments.
What are the features that will be most helpful to L&C students?
One of the most important pieces of working with younger job seekers is “teaching them to fish” by giving them guidance and learning throughout the job search. Students who use Savviest will learn how and why they should best write about their professional and academic backgrounds.
They can then use that information to help them discover internships and paid jobs that they’ll be a good fit for, and then skip the time-consuming and boring process of rewriting their resumes and cover letters for each job—Savviest does that for them!
Job seeking can be a stressful process no matter who you are, so a big part of our mission is to help students feel like we have their back. They can track and manage all of their internship and job applications all in one place, knowing that all of their documents, notes, and preparations are secure and at their fingertips.
If they need more help? Savviest makes it easy to get feedback on their resumes from the Lewis & Clark Career Center. We’re about to launch even more tools for our career counselors so that they can support their students even more deeply and effectively.
What makes your platform unique in the job search world?
We started Savviest because we didn’t see a solution in the world that made the job search process fundamentally better. While there were niche solutions that helped with one piece of it, we realized that a more holistic approach was needed to fully support students and young professionals.
Since launching last November, we’ve made it a priority to call hundreds of Savviest job seekers and students. Because of that, we’ve now had countless humanizing and inspiring conversations with people going through the stressful job search who have tried a number of different solutions. Through those conversations, we’ve realized that the core things job seekers want are
- to reduce the stress of job seeking: so we built a career management platform that supports people from searching for to landing their dream jobs;
- to better tell their unique story and feel empowered when applying: so we built artificial intelligence-based tools to help tailor resumes to each job; and
- increased access to professional and peer support: so we built a way for students to interact with their counselors, and are soon launching a community platform that they can use to connect with their peers.
By combining the insights above, we’ve come up with a more holistic solution than what currently exists, and we’re already starting to see some of the amazing results it’s having. We have people landing jobs at Peloton, Amazon, Redfin, Facebook, and more!
What excites you about collaborating with L&C?
Savviest wouldn’t exist without my experience at L&C, period. Ironically, I was adamantly against the introduction of the entrepreneurship program when it was first launched, based on a naive perception that it wasn’t a broad, liberal arts field. Boy was I wrong! Professor Brian Detweiler-Bedell convinced me to try out entrepreneurship through one of my life’s passions: brewing beer. After starting Arbella Brewing Company as part of the entrepreneurship program, I realized just how expansive, creative, and meaningful startups could be, and couldn’t stop searching for the next opportunity to build something from scratch.
In parallel, the liberal arts education I was receiving was instrumental in my expansive interests and ability to explore different fields. While I was dedicated to a psychology/neuroscience track, I took a computer science course and fell in love with programming. A couple of years after graduating, I took on a small coding project for the neuroscience lab I was working in and realized that was the direction I wanted to take my career. If it weren’t for the focus of L&C on discovering passions and meaning, I doubt I would have made the leap into the unknown.
That leap involved quite literally starting my career over and beginning from scratch. As I taught myself to code and worked my way up through some positions at SurveyMonkey in Portland, I began to talk with friends from Lewis & Clark about career transitions. I discovered that many of my peers were struggling with career moves themselves, and after finding no solutions that I thought would help, realized that the best way I could help would be to build one myself.
Now I have the opportunity to give that solution back to the community that made it possible in the first place. I have pictured working with L&C from day one in building Savviest, and I am so excited that it’s in a place now where I can share it. I can’t wait to keep working with Nina Olken and the rest of the Career Center team, as well as directly with Lewis & Clark students to help them build their dream careers just like I did.
Now that you’ve been out of college for a while, what would you say is the most important thing you learned at Lewis & Clark?
The most important thing I learned at Lewis & Clark was how to think critically. My neuroscience classes were instrumental in teaching me how to read and interpret scientific writing and statistics, which is only becoming more and more useful today. More broadly though, thinking deeply about fiction, philosophy, or art has certainly enriched my life. It’s also given me the tools to self-learn: teaching myself how to code, start a business, and so many things that have made my career transitions possible.
What are your career goals?
Right now I’m laser focused on helping other people reach their career goals. I would consider my work to be a success if Lewis & Clark students—or anyone—using Savviest felt they had the tools and support to make big leaps in their careers. Giving people the chance to follow their dreams and increasing access to economic mobility is a career worth pursuing for me. More specifically, I’m interested in growing Savviest to continue my own learning about each stage in the entrepreneurship journey. I want to grow as a leader and a cheerleader for my team. Ultimately, I’m not unlike many of our Savviest users. I’m excited by the chance to do many different things in my life: continuing my education, leading other startups, and making the time to pursue my noncareer passions.
Where did you find community on campus when you were a student?
Lewis & Clark excels at fostering community in two special ways: supporting student-led clubs and initiatives and offering robust overseas programs. I was constantly amazed at how welcoming different student clubs were, from sports like rugby, soccer, and lacrosse, to more academic or special interest groups. I found many of my best friends through these shared interests. When it came time to develop my own communities around brewing (Zymurgy Club) and motorcycles (LC Custom Moto), the student government was extremely encouraging and helped fund both. We were able to introduce so many more people to our own passions and grow our communities that way.
Of course, nothing bonds you like travel, and L&C’s overseas programs were the single most impactful experiences I had, both for my personal growth and in fostering community. I met my fiancée on our London program to London, and many of my best friends still to this day were made in East Africa. I can’t encourage students enough to join those programs, learn about the world, and build friendships for life.