ABOUT PARKER DEWEY
Parker Dewey helps address the challenges associated with college-to-career transitions. Specifically, Parker Dewey provides Career Launchers (college / grad students and recent graduates) the opportunity to work on professional, paid, short-term assignments, allowing them to demonstrate their skills and grit, explore careers, and develop their networks as they seek internships and full-time roles. Furthermore, these authentic, experiential learning opportunities complement in-class instruction, thereby improving academic performance and driving completion.
Parker Dewey addresses challenges for college to career transition. Why did this type of work interest you, and how did you get started?
As a country, we have a fundamental issue from college to career transitions. It’s difficult to get jobs even for those students with the right background. All students, no matter their background, have limited opportunities. They face issues such as how to decide to work for a startup or a big corporation. The impact is massive underemployment of college grads. There is a massive number of open full-time roles that aren't getting filled.
Tell me about your professional background and how it led you to Parker Dewey.
I have over twenty years of experience as an investor in education and tech. I saw the need to address this issue and decided to do something about it.
On technology: how does Parker Dewey use technology to provide services?
Parker Dewey offers great services and most definetely addresses the various challenges faced by college graduates, companies, and everyone else involved in the process. How are Parker Dewey's impact and effectiveness measured?
There are various ways to measure and feel impact across different areas and indivuals that Parker Dewey comes in contact with. Effectiveness, for companies, means getting work done effectively. For driving diversity and inclusion departments, it is enhancing recruiting and improving employee retention. For campus retention, it is identifying different schools and accessing kids that otherwise would not have a good shot coming in contact with. Effectiveness for the college graduates is the experience attained, having learned something, gaining skills for their resume, engaging in a proffessional relationship, landing an internship or a full-time position. Effectiveness is measured differently across the board but it is all complementary. Now with Holistic, we will have a way to show effectiveness and have tangible evidence of why and how Parker Dewey can make things better for everyone.
There is no doubt that we live in a time where there are many struggles college graduates face in their journey towards a career. Are you collaborating or in partnership with other companies and/or organizations in the industry?
We have several partnerships including the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the United Negro College Fund, as well as colleges and universities. Other organizations have collaborated with us although there is no formal partnership established. We are also thrilled to be able to partner with Holistic.
As always, there are adversaries, opponents, and/or competitors in every company and project. Who are they for Parker Dewey?
I would say the biggest competitors are individual professionals, companies not recognizing that we are an option, freelance marketplaces, companies like that. These models are set on different fundamentals. They are paying less money and creating geographic arbitrage.
Being a CEO and Founder already makes you interesting. Having a company that is all about tech, what is your favorite app? One that many people may not know about?
I have to say TruePublic. It is not a productivity app. Instead, it is intellectually stimulating. It’s a survey app with questions you respond to and then you are given a view of where you stand in comparison or similarity to others demographically. It provides interesting insights based on your point of view. It is completely anonymous and still has a real perspective.
You're in a city where the tech industry is booming! Where in the city are you from?
I am from New Jersey but I moved to Chicago in the mid 90’s with my wife. We currently reside in Bucktown.
Aside from the technology environment in Chicago, what is your favorite thing about this city?
My favorite thing about Chicago, I guess, is the diversity of people, industries, companies, and activities. It’s like you can be enjoying your day by lake on the day one day then hiking through a forest preserve the next. Professionally, it’s how grounded we are. The Chicago companies that have been successful come down to this disciplined grounded approach that builds sustainable business.
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