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We like success stories. And we like awesome people. That’s why we’re featuring University of Michigan engineering student Michelle Lu today. Michelle utilized Seelio to land her summer internship with Real Good Food. We’re so happy that Seelio worked for her, and it can work for you, too! Read on to find out how it all went down:
Q: You landed an internship with Real Good Food through the Seelio platform. Could you explain the process?
A: I think it was March and I was quickly facing the consequences of my failure to apply for all the prestigious corporate positions and fellowship programs earlier in the Winter. I had made a Seelio profile in December so it was easy to log in and start checking out the featured companies. I found Real Good Food’s focus on food and peer-to-peer sharing extremely exciting. They didn’t have a difficult application process—all I had to do was click an ‘apply’ button. I was a little eager, and applied for both the web developer and community champion positions, and three days later I received a message from Devin to meet up for an interview. At the interview, despite my attempts to over market myself like my parents had taught me, it became quickly clear that my scarce html and ENGR 101 programming experiences would not be enough to create an entire user-login web-based platform for food swapping…fortunately, Devin saw potential in me and shot me an email the next week to welcome me to the team!
Q: What do you do at Real Good Food?
A: Real Good Food was running a crowd-funding campaign on Start Some Good for the longest time. Basically that meant I had to email a lot of bloggers, food swap networks, online magazines, and be ignored by a lot of bloggers, food swap networks and online magazines. One of my favorite experiences was waking up at 7 in the morning to set up our table at the Kerrytown Farmer’s Market and do hardcore guerilla fundraising to a consecutive stream of 300 shoppers. In the end, we did in fact pass our tipping point of $8000, which allowed us to turn our attention to building the website, doing more customer discovery, and hosting more dinners and food swaps. I still email bloggers and foodies in Ann Arbor, but they don’t ignore us so much anymore
Point is, I’m called a ‘Community Champion Intern’ and my job description says I’m supposed to “manage social media channels”, “plan food-related events”, etc. but I get to do so much more than post on Twitter and create Real Good Food Facebook events.
Q: Why should someone make a Seelio?
A: It’s visual, it’s unique, it’s easy to use. My accomplishments are average compared to many from my peers—so I’m very honored to be doing this interview—but Seelio allows me to portray the passion and hard work that I put into all my projects and experiences. That engineering project over there on the side? That took hundreds of hours and more laughs and fights and sleepless nights with my team than I ever expected to experience. We owned that curtain assembly, and we owned that 75-paged final report. It’s wonderful to be able to write more than a neutered sentence on an experience I have so much affection for.
Q: How was connecting with Real Good Food through Seelio different than experiences connecting with employers in the past?
A: I’m pretty young so I haven’t had much experience with connecting and interviewing with employers. I however did feel confident that any employer looking at my profile would view me as I wanted to be viewed. The profile I’ve created on Seelio is closer to reflecting my values, experiences, and aspirations than any other professional document can or has.
Q: What’s something about you that wouldn’t stand out on a traditional, black-and-white resume, but shines on a Seelio?
A: I like to sing, and I like to play piano, but I don’t have the awards or accomplishments to write anything more than that on a resume. I sing when I’m biking, driving, bathrooming, writing, and to be able to share that with anyone who cares is really exciting! Though this hobby doesn’t explicitly get me any jobs, I’ve learned that it’s a good conversation starter.
Q: Tell us one fun fact about yourself.
A: This question always gets me. I don’t know how to answer it without sounding self promoting or overly quirky! I’m a fun person I promise!!
— Click here to view Michelle’s work with Real Good Food! —
Don’t forget: the internet never forgets. Links to your middle school MySpace account . . . embarrassing videos . . . pictures from that crazy party last weekend . . . no wonder you didn’t get a call back from that recruiter!
Okay, for most students this scenario is a bit over-exaggerated, but the sentiment remains: anyone can and will Google search you, so be prepared to present yourself to employers. Take it from the pros – James A. Martin, columnist at CIO.com, claims, “it’s a given these days that an employer will Google any serious candidate and look at their first page of search results.” What shows up on your first page of search results?
Don’t forget to think about what you aren’t posting. Not having an online presence presents an impediment to your job search, too. Amy Levin-Epstein, CBS MoneyWatch columnist, explains why: “if an employer can’t find you online, you’re a virtual non-entity. It’s like you don’t even exist!” Your name on a research paper, a detailed record of your volunteer work, articles you’ve published — all great things that you should make sure potential employers have access to! But how can you make all of these things (and many more) available in a user-friendly, organized way?
Creating a Seelio is the best way to showcase yourself to employers, who will Google you. Seelio provides a space for you to present your work to the world. Make a Seelio and build your online presence in the process — potential employers will Google you, so make sure they see the best of you!