I’ve been in Chicago just over a year now, and it’s crazy to think about how much I’ve learned and lived since I moved up here after graduation. This is just a personal update on my past year, so if that doesn’t interest you, feel free to read something else. Go ahead, I won’t be offended.
An Update on Uloop/UWire
I moved to Chicago to pursue a role with Uloop where I am now responsible for managing our social media, building our news organization (now 500+ writers strong), and other various marketing-related tasks. We recently downsized the company to three full-time employees, so I’ve taken on more work than ever. Still, I love it, and it’s been eye-opening to see how down and dirty the “real” startup life can be.
We’ve also started to explore content marketing, which has been a great way to help us fund news production. This month, we landed our first big national contract with Kaplan Test Prep to help us sponsor even more student news. It’s a great job, and they’re sending me down to speak at the National College Media Convention in New Orleans this year. It’s been a while since I did any public speaking, so I’m pretty pumped to get back into it. Still, I’m ready to be back in something that I run, so I’ve started to plan and carry out my next entrepreneurial venture…
I have been recruiting, interviewing, and managing interns at Uloop for about two years now, and one thing I’ve learned is that I am passionate about helping young professionals find a job that gives them purpose. In January, I started a job hunting site at JobBrander.com, and in the past month, it was featured in Crane’s Chicago Business, I’ve set up meetings with several of Chicago’s biggest employers, and I have established relationships with about two dozen college career services centers to help me find interns. The business model is simple: I’ll find, interview, and pass along 5 awesome potential interns. You choose the one you want, and don’t pay a dime until they start working for you. It’s basically freelance recruiting for the internship job market. I’ve got the first couple test customers lined up, and am hoping to make this my full time job within 9 months.
Personal stuff in case you want that…
Personal life? What’s that? Oh, you mean the 7 hours of sleep I get, yeah that’s going well too (just kidding!).
I made a commitment to start improving my health this year. I went vegetarian two months ago (read why here), and while I don’t “work out,” I do walk at least 4 miles every day. I feel better, eat healthier, and cook more. Beyond that, I’ve tried my hand at online dating, attended a number of interesting meetups, and gotten involved with as many tech startup events as I can. It’s very hard to separate your business and personal lives when you’re an entrepreneur, so most of my friends here double as business connections.