Connecting Students and Companies

Fellows often use start-ups as a way to involve other students in innovation and entrepreneurship. This story is an excerpt from Designing for Change.

When Fellow David Shull arrived at Michigan Tech in 2010 as a computer software engineering major, he dreamed of working for Apple. However, he discovered that his school’s connection to Apple was slim.

During his time in school, David connected with fellow student Garrett Lord. In 2014, Garrett offered him an opportunity to be the first employee at a startup he and other Michigan Tech students had founded called Handshake. 

This career network and recruiting platform connects universities, students, alumni and companies. The founders created Handshake to address their shared frustrations as students when they tried to find meaningful career opportunities at a remote campus.

“Garrett told me I could go work with a big company in Silicon Valley, or I could join Handshake and level the playing field for students so that everyone had a fair shot at their dream job, regardless of their socioeconomic background or where they happened to go to school,” David said. He took the job, and leads the company’s university growth efforts.

David also brought another Michigan Tech Fellow to Handshake. Brad Turner worked with David on UIF projects while in school, and he is now a leader on the company’s student product team.

Today, David said Apple and thousands of other companies are connecting with Michigan Tech and with the hundreds of universities using Handshake: “We’ve completely changed how college recruiting works at these campuses.”

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