Land of Meaningful Handshakes

After using Handshake and working at the Villanova Career Center, I was eager to see the people behind the product Villanovans use so often. I believe I can say that as a group we were all incredibly impressed with the reception, conversations, and information that greeted us this morning at the startup.

The Account Manager Katie Williams, Employer Product Manager Molly Johnson, two of the co-founders Ben Christiensen and Garrett Lord, and the Customer Success Engineer Jade Pathe all told their engaging stories of how they ended up at Handshake and what it means to them. What struck me was the focus on students despite the company’s success and fast growth, at the end of the day Handshake creates opportunities and connections for students. The co-founders’ story of beginning at Michigan Tech and fighting their way to a beautiful view in San Francisco captivated us as a group – we were locked in to the storytelling. Garrett tactfully prompted Molly, “Can we talk about the future instead of today?” demonstrating the company’s emphasis on moving forward. Garrett and Molly both explained hopes for the future and how they see the company growing (even more) to implement new features to find the best candidates for the position. “What actually does matter to be good at a specific job?” Garrett rhetorically asked us and then followed that up with ideas for Handshake, such as ways for students to exhibit certain skill sets.

To speak to the character of Garrett, the CEO of Handshake, he gave credit and thanks to our very own Kevin Grubb, the Executive Director of the Career Center, for helping the company by implementing Handshake early on at Villanova. After these few days and after meeting alumni in the area tonight, I am immensely grateful to be a part of the Villanova Community that extends from campus all the way to Silicon Valley and the Bay Area.