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Announcing the “2012 Most Unique Summer Work Winner”— Tracy Ko

Summer is a time when, unburdened by the hours of homework and extra-curriculars, students are free to experiment with interesting projects and pursue their life passions. This is important because according to recruiting blog The Ladders, these passions are an important part of who you are and thus what kind of applicant you will make.

If articulated well, summer projects can be extremely powerful in telling your story. Unfortunately, resumes do not always do summer projects justice. This is where a portfolio tool such as Seelio can give you an edge in job-hunting.

In the spirit of showcasing students’ summer accomplishments, Seelio held a contest to find the most unique summer experience on the site. We had a lot of excellent entries (for example, the aviation project submitted from William Quinn, caffeinated cookies from Chris Bogdan, the Ryan Seacrest productions internship from Jeffery Wisenbaugh and more). However, we are THRILLED to announce that our grand prize winner is Tracy Ko!

A junior at the University of Michigan, Tracy spent the summer working with Students of the World, a nonprofit that helps students tell stories of projects that inspire them. Tracy was based in New Mexico to document the efforts of a Nature Conservancy. Her work was chosen as the contest winner because it embodied her multiple unique passions and it was a defining moment in her career development. For her unique work, Tracy will receive a $50 AMEX gift card from Seelio. Check out Seelio’s interview with Tracy below to learn more about her summer:

Q: First, can you explain to us a little more about what you did this summer?

I was selected to be the photographer for the 2012 National Team for Students of the World. Every year, SOW sends teams of college students abroad “to shine a light on progress” that non-profit organizations are doing all over the world. The 2012 National Team was partnered up with The Nature Conservancy. Our 7-person team consisted of the lead filmmaker, assistant filmmaker, photographer, journalist, producer, social media coordinator, and graphic designer. We travelled to the New Mexico, Mexico, and the Grenadines to document the conservation efforts of The Nature Conservancy. After spending a month of traveling, to we return to Austin, TX (the headquarters of SOW) to spend 6 weeks on post-production. By the end of the internship, we delivered a complete media package of short videos, photos, articles, and graphics for The Nature Conservancy to use.

Q: That’s really cool, what made you decide to take this trip with Students of the World?

 When I saw first saw a campus flyer for an info session about SOW, I was immediately drawn to it because it contained three of my passions into one flyer: visual media, travelling, and social justice. After attending the info session, I was hooked on SOW’s mission. Not knowing whether I would be accepted because of my limited experience, I still applied for the photographer’s position anyways. And as the application process continued, eventually I was offered the position and I accepted right away!

Q: What did you like best about New Mexico?

I absolutely love the unique Southwestern landscape of New Mexico. It has a Wild West quality that I’m drawn to and inspired by. New Mexico also has a great art scene that’s Spanish and Native American influenced which I really admire as well. Overall, I love New Mexico! I would totally consider moving down to Santa Fe!

Q: What is one thing you learned from this trip that you would not have been able to learn otherwise?

What it means to be a better visual story teller. Being a good photographer means more than just taking “cool” pictures. It’s about telling a story through those photos. This internship helped me to go out of my comfort zone and actively seek stories. Many times I had to randomly approach people if I could take their pictures and I would ask questions and listen to their personal stories. So overall, I learned that curiosity, boldness, and human compassion are important qualities of a good photojournalist!

Q: Finally, please share with us why others should create a Seelio.

 It’s is a great way for people to really understand what you’re passionate about. Sometimes explaining to people what activities you’re involved in gets a bit stale. But when your work is visually displayed, it makes so much sense to other people! For example, when I see friends’ Seelio’s profiles, I’m thinking “Oh, so that’s what they’ve been up to all year!” So I get a better appreciation for what they’re passions are.

Congratulations, Tracy!

Seelio will continue to host contest like this in the future. To be informed of this and all other Seelio happenings follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Finally, make sure to upload your work and be ready for more prizes to come!

Questions or Comments please e-mail Chelsea at chelsea@seelio.com

Student Spotlight: Michelle Lu’s Real Good Internship with Real Good Food

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! —

Why I’m Ridiculously Excited that Seelio Has Launched

Hi. I’m student intern Francesca Audia, and I’m going to tell you why I’m ridiculously excited that Seelio has launched.

As a student with a nontraditional educational background, I understand how terribly insufficient the traditional resume is in representing yourself to employers.  My college experience takes me to two great institutions on two continents: I’m enrolled in the Dual BA Program Between Columbia University and l’Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po). As a student in this program, I spend two years at each institution, graduating with a bachelor’s degrees from each institution at the end of my 4 years. I’ve had so many unbelievable experiences as a part of this program that I would love to share with employers — but how can I convey this in a few words on a resume? I want them to see actual presentations I’ve given, the outcome of my work, and how my interests tie into my aspirations. I want employers to see beyond the 2-dimensional limitations of my resume.

Which one stands out?

My case is not unique. Many students have had experiences that give them a competitive edge in their job search, but fail to shine on a black-and-white, traditional resume. The bottom line: resumes inadequately depict what college students are up to these days.

So, that brings us back to my first statement. Why am I ridiculously excited that Seelio has launched? Because it gives me and thousands of other college students the opportunity to finally express ourselves to employers. The ability to consolidate my most important works (in various multimedia forms) along with text descriptions is huge. From an aesthetic view, the website is simple & intuitive, yet beautiful. And of course, I can apply for jobs on Seelio and put the link to my seelio on my resume & email signature, letting everyone see what I’ve done.

To all of you students out there, there is a solution to your job search headaches: Seelio.com.