Skip Your Career Fair - 30 Under 30 List



It’s the third post in the Skip Your Career Fair series and this week I want feature a list and some more tips to stand out rather than an event to attend. I’m excited to share the Fast Company “30 Under 30 - Class of 2012.” I came across this 2 weeks ago and I have been revisiting it just about everyday. Turning 30 myself in less than 3 months, I am a little bit jealous of this group’s success but it also inspires me to hustle and go all-in on this movement to be happy in your job.

A few things all of us can learn from this 20-something group is they:

  • recognized a problem in how things were done like Joe Coleman, Shane Snow & Dave Goldberg from Contently who now connect journalist and writers with Fortune 500 companies who are willing to pay for well written content and research.
  • worked hard to turn an idea into a reality like Sarah Schupp who turned her business school idea into University Parent Media, a $1.8 million business that creates newsletters & guidebooks to inform parents about what’s happening on campus.
  • wanted to shake things up and not be boring like Jesse Thomas & Leslie Bradshaw from Jess3 did. This couple worked hard to build relationships and help companies take boring data like Nielsen ratings and make them fun and engaging.

What can all of us learn from these few young entrepreneurs? They either left school or their career with their idea in hand and went for it. They took a risk, but their passion, hard work and ability to build relationships are paying off. They all found their niche.

So how does this relate to students looking for internships or their first full time job?


  1. If you are looking for a job no matter the industry you need to build relationships. Tony Doody, a colleague of mine, tells students to “build your network before you need it.” So if I were 20 years old I would read the 30 under 30 list as much as I am and contact (or stalk) each company, owner or employee if you have any interest in working there. Do this by following them on twitter, facebook, reading articles or watching videos they are featured in because when they do announce they are hiring you need to be the first one to apply. If you aren’t sure how to initiate contact just email them and ask if you could have 5 or 10 minutes of their time to interview for a class project.
  2. I’ve said it before, but it is 2013! If you have an idea go for it and implement it. If you need a kick in the ass read Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuck. The cost of entry or even the cost to fail is far less than 20 years ago.
  3. Lastly, build yourself up by enhancing your resume by putting projects you may have worked on for a class or your volunteer opportunities in bullet items. If you are currently working decide how you are going to best communicate what you actually did in that job on an interview. Keep a weekly report of 3-4 items you worked on and things you learned. Once a month review it and then print it out when you go on an interview so when they ask you for specific examples you can reference it.

Kevin O’Connell, Founder – The Niche Movement

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