In a world where early career opportunities were once limited by personal connections and institutional affiliations, Handshake, the brainchild of three ambitious computer science students, emerged as a pioneering platform to revolutionize the job search process. At the helm of this game-changing initiative is Garrett Lord, the co-founder, and CEO of Handshake. In a candid interview session with the Techsylvania team, Garrett shares insights into the platform’s transformative journey and its commitment to empowering young professionals across the globe.

Empowering the Next Generation: Handshake’s Humble Beginnings

As a computer science student at a small university in Michigan, Garrett, along with his co-founders Ben and Scott, identified the challenges students faced in securing great internships and jobs. He reminisced, “At the time, getting a great internship or job really depended on your personal connections and where you went to college. The recruiting process mostly happened on campus and the majority of big companies only held events at a handful of schools. We saw an opportunity to democratize access to opportunity by making it easier for talented students and employers to find one another through an online platform.” Thus, Handshake was born out of a desire to level the playing field and open doors for all students, regardless of their background or institutional affiliations. Breaking free from the constraints of traditional methods, Handshake’s innovative online platform transcended geographical boundaries and connected millions of students with employers from diverse industries, creating a community of early talent seekers.

Bridging the Gap: Handshake’s Revolution in the Job Search Process

Garrett’s passion for empowering young professionals through Handshake’s platform was evident as he stated, “We’re driven by the mission to give all students the chance to build the career they want, no matter where they’re from or what school they attend. That means whether you go to a four-year university or a local two-year college, a rural university or an urban one, you have equal access to the resources on Handshake.” Handshake’s strategic partnership with educational institutions and career centers has facilitated personalized career guidance, connecting students with specialized advisors who understand their unique needs. This personalized approach aids students in identifying and pursuing the right career paths aligned with their skills and aspirations.

Innovating the Future: Handshake’s Path to Democratizing Access

Looking ahead with enthusiasm, Garrett shared his vision for the future of Handshake, “When I think back on why we started Handshake in the first place and the problems we were trying to solve, I believe we’re really close to mastering democratizing access to opportunity by making it possible for more students and employers to find each other, regardless of their school and connections.” He envisions Handshake evolving beyond a mere job-matching platform, embracing innovative technologies like GenAI and engaging features such as short-form video in Feed and communities to provide students with comprehensive career insights and social connections.

In the ever-evolving landscape of early career opportunities, Handshake and its visionary CEO, Garrett Lord, have disrupted the status quo and transformed how students connect with employers. Through its inclusive and empowering approach, Handshake has paved the way for a future where talent knows no bounds. As the platform expands its horizons into Europe and beyond, Garrett’s unwavering dedication to democratizing access to opportunity promises to shape the careers of countless young professionals worldwide. Techsylvania 2023 bears witness to the indelible impact Handshake and its CEO are making in the industry, redefining the way we envision the future of work.