Phase 1: Problem Identification

Having just experienced the job/internship recruitment process, my teammates and I had been immersed in a major problem:  currently, students are unable to capitalize on the experiences of others; instead, they repeat the same mistakes, relearning the same lessons.

Phase 2: Solution Identification

By surveying Duke students, the team was quickly able to gauge interest in a career-advice resource. The nature of the solution was still yet to be determined, but we surmised that the most effective route would be to create a very broad product and narrow down the features based on customer feedback.

Phase 3: Product Creation

At first, we considered a variety of solutions ranging from a PDF document to a website to a database to a physical book. There were various tradeoffs associated with each solution, but we identified a PDF/physical book as the most cost-efficient, practical, and distributable options. We used a program called Sketch to convert word doc information attained from Duke seniors into a PDF.

One of the major barriers to the product development phase was actually finding appropriate students who 1) provided a diversity of insights 2) offered impressive results in their field, and 3) were willing to send in responses within a short time range.

Phase 4: Funding (ongoing) 

In order to print and distribute the product, we calculated the amount of funding we would need. Supplemented by information we learned during class, we realized there wasn’t necessarily a cap to the amount of funding we needed to achieve. At the same time, we discovered that consulting/tech companies have an aggregate $202 million dollar budget for recruiting. We anticipated that companies that already recruited out of Duke would demonstrate major interest in having a profile on our product. We reached out to various companies featured on the Duke Career Center job site and pitched the idea.

Responses are still coming in, but we calculated that even capturing a small percentage of the market could yield a product worth about $20 million.

Check out our first prototype in my artifact section!