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MindSumo Shows Off Its Crowd of Smart Students to Big Employers

MindSumo Shows Off Its Crowd of Smart Students to Big Employers

Editor's Note: MindSumo is the brain child of some Stanford alumni looking to streamline both the job hunt for new college grads, and the recruiting process for large (and some smaller) companies. Their solution is a challenge platform that allows soon-to-be-employable students to show off their skills for the likes of Facebook and Microsoft

This is the latest chapter in an accelerating trend we've been following of turning the recruitment process over to crowd-based platforms. For more background, read this column from one of our experts, get up to speed on Facebook's use of Kaggle for hiring, and listen to the discussion on the topic in The Crowded Room.'s TIffany Howard conducted this interview with MindSumo's Keaton Swett:

### How did the idea for MindSumo come about?

MindSumo: The idea for MindSumo came from the personal experiences we as founders had while still in college. As students, we knew that having the chance to implement skills learned in the classroom would benefit our chances of getting hired by a great company, but we noticed a serious dearth of such opportunities. Internships usually only happen when school is not in session, but MindSumo allows companies to post "challenges" or mini-internship projects that can be tackled all year long. Now students can prove their skills on a continual basis, and companies can identify the best recruits with more data on how they solve problems, instead of solely relying on resumes and interviews.

How does the MindSumo process differ from the traditional hiring process?

For college students, the traditional hiring process can oftentimes hinge on big events that only happen a couple times a year like career fairs or internships. If you don't have the chance to land a good internship, or you get sick on the day of the career fair, then your odds of getting the job you want significantly decreases. By solving challenges on MindSumo, students can engage with a much larger number of companies, and demonstrate why they would be a good hire instead of just hoping their resume articulates as much. Additionally, MindSumo helps companies recruit from a much broader talent pool since students from all over the country can engage with their challenges from our platform.

How do you choose your talent pool of students?

Two of the three founders on our team went to Stanford, and our office is a stone's throw away from campus, so bringing MindSumo to Stanford students in the early days was a no brainer. From there we expanded to other top tier universities, and soon thereafter began launching at larger state schools as well. As our presence grew, students began reaching out to us from schools where we hadn't yet opened, so now we identify what schools have generated the most organic interest in MindSumo, and launch there.

What positive results have you seen so far?

We have seen a lot of positive results both from students and companies. Despite the limited number of schools we have opened to, we have had thousands of engaged students sign up on the platform, and we have completed over 50 challenges with some outstanding customers like Facebook, Microsoft, IBM, and others.

Do you have plans for expanding in the future?

Yes! We are anxious to include more and more students on the MindSumo platform, and are excited for the day when MindSumo is used by all students here in the US, and internationally as well. We have actually started to receive lots of inquiries about when MindSumo will be available to non-US universities, so that milestone may happen sooner than we think! We are also excited to provide more tools for companies in their quest to identify and hire talented students, and one of those tools we are launching soon is a Virtual Career Fair Booth (VCFB). This will act as a branded customized portal for companies on the MindSumo platform. VCFB's will give students access to specific company challenges, help them learn about life at a company, connect them to a company's social media platforms, and give them the chance to get on a company's radar by sending their MindSumo profile information.

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