When I graduated from Anderson in 2014, many of my classmates were bewildered by my non-traditional career choice. Instead of becoming a management consultant, or landing a role in investment banking, I decided to do something strange – I took a job as a professional matchmaker. It seemed like a risky, unexpected decision.
But what appeared to my peers to be a bizarre career move was truly the best decision I have ever made. Taking that risk, and going against the current, has opened more doors than I ever thought possible.
At Anderson, I was very involved in the Easton Technology Leadership Program, as well as in the High Tech Business Association. I adored all things tech-related, and my internship was even at Facebook. I loved working there, and I cannot say enough positive things about my time at such a powerhouse company. But I knew, in my heart, that I owed it to myself to do something different. I knew that going back to Facebook was a known path – I knew I would go in each day and do my job and come home. I wanted to do something that challenged me in new ways. I wanted to join a startup.
So I did. At Three Day Rule, which uses technology to facilitate in-person matchmaking, I experienced what it was truly like to work for a growing company. When I started, there were only a few matchmakers, and we worked incredibly hard to grow the business. We were out meeting potential clients and matches during the days, and at nights, we were home pouring over our database, matching people. We worked with our CTO to create technological features that would help the matchmakers, and I learned about building products. We interacted with different types of people, and I learned about sales and marketing and business development. I was able to get my hands dirty, and that hands on experience was unlike anything I could have ever had at a larger company. Now, we’re going through another round of fundraising, and I’m in meetings with angel investors and VCs. Like an extension of business school, I’m learning more and more every day.
Four months ago, I began working on a side project, a company of my own. I started by working nights and weekends, on top of my already intense startup job. With two colleagues, I created an app, Textpert, which provides on-demand texting advice for singles. I have spent the past year learning as much as possible about the dating industry, and I have been able to identify a consumer need, and scale a simple solution through technology. We launched in the App Store last month, and we have received a surprising amount of traction. My co-founder quit his job, and I have been able to focus even more time on this passion project.
If you had asked me two years ago if I would be working in technology, I would have of course said yes. Technology has driven my career – from launching one of the first social media ad campaigns for Johnson & Johnson in 2007 to working at Facebook to building my own app – there are consistent elements to my story. But only by taking risks, by doing the unexpected, did I arrive at my current success. I stopped thinking about doing what I was supposed to, and let my love for technology lead the way.
Special thanks to Kate Edwards ('14) for this blog post.