Boise State students have an opportunity to rise above their peers and to showcase their talents to potential employers, thanks to MindSumo.
The San Francisco based company is working with nationally recognized companies to provide college students opportunities for experience in the workplace.
Aaron Weiss, the community manager for MindSumo, says the company allows students access to potential employers by solving real problems posed by the company.
“Students get a better chance to prove themselves as viable job candidates,” Weiss said.
A study conducted by Georgetown University in May 2013 revealed that, the overall unemployment rate for recent graduates, is 7.9 percent.
The article goes on to say, “recent grads often have a more difficult time finding employment in their field.”
Founded by three friends who wanted to use their talents, the company has opened the challenges to students across the country, including Boise State. Over 25,000 students currently using the site.
The only requirement is that students have a “.edu” email address. Keaton Swett, president of MindSumo, encourages Boise State students to use the site.
“Often times we feel it can be hard for students in less populated areas to stand out,” Swett said. “By using MindSumo, it gives students a chance to showcase their skills in front of a company regardless of their location.”
How it works:
MindSumo and the established company collaborate and create a challenge that exposes students to a problem the company is currently facing.
Students who accept the challenge compete against other students to submit the best solution.
“Companies have a hard time assessing students’ skills on paper,” Weiss said. “This outlet allows students to show off their skills.”
The challenges also allow students, to gain experience in their specific line of work.
“Students are given the opportunity to compete regardless of what’s on their diploma,” Weiss said.
For example, one challenge, posed by John Deere, asked students to create a design for a detachable lawn mower blade that was inexpensive and easy to detach.
Students with the best designs were brought in for interviews. One student which was offered an internship with the company.
“We feel it is a much more productive way than working at a Starbucks or stacking books at the library because you get to increase your portfolio,” Swett said.
Students also have the opportunity to win money through the company.
According to Weiss, 95 percent of the challenges offer cash prizes to students who come up with the best solutions. These prizes range anywhere from $100
MindSumo has recently introduced two new features to their website.
The “Mentor Program” allows students to connect with professionals who are already established in their field.
Students can reach out to these professionals for career advice.
“MindSumo Connection” encourages students to connect with other students who have experience working or interning for companies. That student will gain tips and information for landing a position at the company.
Both Weiss and Swett encourage Boise State students to show why they should be potential candidates for coveted positions.
“We’ve seen companies hire students from areas that they normally wouldn’t go to,” Swett said. “It’s a way for students to really improve their skills and stand out from their peers.”
For more information, visit mindsumo.com, or follow them on Twitter,