Matching Academics with Career Education: Modern Guild

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Although 80% of jobs are attained through personal connections, in today’s job market students also strongly benefit from a dependable career education. Just because a college student’s roommate’s father is an exec at Google doesn’t mean that after graduation he or she is on the path to be a blissful Googler.

Before discovering and sealing a dream position there is a likely progression. By exploring career paths early on, students prepare for an education that they’ll need. By immersing themselves in these paths, students can find the right fit. By accelerating with proper technical and interviewing skills, students can land in the right place professionally.

This methodology of exploration, immersion and acceleration is precisely the theory behind Modern Guild, a startup that matches high school and college students with a 1-on-1, high quality career coach who guides them through a 8-10 week career discovery and readiness program with structured curriculum and access to industry professionals.

Modern Guild is currently in the Kaplan EdTech Accelerator powered by TechStars.

Naturally, we decided to catch up with the founder, Adrien Fraise, to learn more.

What inspired you to found Modern Guild?

The idea to attack the disconnect between academics and career education at the root came directly from my personal experiences and played a major role in the creation and design of the Modern Guild program. As an undergraduate at Stanford, I experienced, first hand, the limitations of my school’s career services center and my own struggles identifying and positioning myself for my “ideal” career. And, later, as a Manager at Deloitte Consulting, I interviewed so many students from top universities who were still unsure of what they wanted and were simply chasing the ‘prestigious’ job. That was scary to me. How could these students be making decisions on such little real information? Why has this problem not been fixed since I graduated over 12 years ago?

I decided the solution had to attack the problem at its root – before and in college.

Do you have a favorite product feature of Modern Guild

There are so many aspects of our program that I like, from the assignments and tools to the industry professional support network, but if I had to choose, I would say our 30-second Elevator Pitch exercise. The reason it’s one of my favorites is that students complete this exercise twice – once at the beginning of the program and once at the end of the program. This short exercise shows just how much these students improve in terms of articulation, confidence, professional maturity and career understanding. It really helps showcase the power of our program and always makes me really happy to see the vast important. I joke around to my team that it’s our muscle mass commercial.

If you gave one piece of advice to recent grads on the job hunt, what would it be?

If you have already graduated then obviously you are at disadvantage at getting a job at a top company that traditionally recruits in force at campuses. So you should think of your job search in a two-step process: (1) land internship to acquire the skills you need for your descried full-time job, and (2) apply for full-time jobs after a few months in your internship once you can demonstrate the skills you have learned.

The positive note is that because you are now outside the regular recruiting cycle periods, you can now use this time as an opportunity to be very introspective about what you really want to do and where you can learn the most. You can then be more focused and proactive in your internship search. Look for internships where you can learn a lot and learn the skills that will be important for the full-time job you want. Remember that wherever you apply after your internship, you will no longer be seen as just out of college and will need to demonstrate more practical and applicable work skills. This is why finding the right internship where you can learn quickly is so vital, and sometimes pay needs to take a backseat.

How can institutions get started with Modern Guild?

We have already started to partner with top high schools and universities in the U.S., including the UVA’s Jefferson Scholars Foundation and Boston College’s Carroll School of Management, to deliver our courses to their students. We also have started pilot partnerships with several top boarding and day high schools in the Northeast, including Brunswick and St. Mark’s. These pilot programs provide the school the opportunity to enroll up to 10 students into our program and witness first hand the impact our program on their students, just like it has for over 250 students to date. Our students graduate with: (1) high satisfaction — on average refer our program to 6 friends, (2) vast improvements — 2x as confident in their career preparedness, and our college graduates with (3) strong outcomes — 92% land job and internship with 75% of them receiving multiple offers. They are more excited and able to connect their academics to desired career paths.

Learn more about Modern Guild and how to get involved here.

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