I held quite a few jobs and internships in high school. My favorite high school job was working at a barn in exchange for lessons. I showed up every weekend, rain or shine, and mucked stalls, fed horses, groomed them, and did other odd jobs around the farm. I’m so glad that I had that experience! I also learned a great deal from the many internships I held in college. Your first few jobs are such a great way to learn professionalism and preferences. When the founders of Quad Jobs reached out to me, I knew I had to profile them on the site!
Meet the Founders of Quad Jobs
What inspired you to start QuadJobs?
We saw a surprising divide between campus and community. You could live around the corner from an amazing college and still struggle to hire a student to babysit, tutor, move furniture, walk your dog, help at a party, or help with your business. We knew the students could really benefit from finding this extra work in the local community, but the communication was not straightforward or efficient. We saw a way to make life easier for both groups.
What is QuadJobs’ mission and how do you achieve it?
QuadJobs allows college and graduate students to create detailed profiles and specify the kind of jobs they’re interested in taking. Local employers (households and businesses) log on, post a job, and hear back from all the students who are available and interested. QuadJobs tracks each job a student takes, and gathers feedback reviews—creating what we call a student’s JobGPA. It’s helpful for employers to immediately see a student’s experience and references when he or she applies for a job.
What types of jobs can people get hired for on QuadJobs?
A student with only five hours free all semester can still make extra income through QuadJobs. A student with more free time could work every day, every week. We see jobs big and small hitting the site every day. A good percentage of jobs come from families looking for babysitters (and within that, we have families who specifically want a babysitter who can coach lacrosse, cook really well, help with math, or drive a lot.) There are jobs for tutors, party staff, caterers, photographers, camp counselors, lifeguards, organizers, furniture movers, and yardwork help. We also see businesses posting for help with Social Media, marketing events, and sales during holiday crunches. QuadJobs trades very quickly–94% of jobs posted receive a few applicants within hours.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to start her own business?
Choose the right partners. We have plenty of healthy debate, but we respect each other’s perspective and work well as a team.
What has been the most surreal moment so far?
When we hit send on our launch email, telling potential subscribers that our site was live, it was surreal to see new accounts coming through on the site.
College students use your site to start their careers. What is one thing you wish you had known when you were starting out your career?
First impressions really matter. Whether that means dressing appropriately for an interview, or properly researching the person that you are meeting with, do your homework.
Andra, you were previously the senior director of recruiting and human resources at one of my favorite companies, J.Crew. Could you tell my readers a bit more about that experience and your advice for people hoping to break into the fashion industry?
I was thrilled to receive a call from J. Crew back in 2005. At that point I was working on creative recruiting specifically at Abercrombie & Fitch and Mickey Drexler had just joined J. Crew and the business was starting to turn around. J. Crew had been a brand that I had grown up with. During my interview I even recapped that I had sent a letter to One Ivey Crescent Road in Lynchburg VA when I was twelve saying that I would love to work for the company!
Within my first month heading up creative recruiting, two members of the recruiting team quit. I remember walking into Washington Square Park by myself feeling overwhelmed that my workload had just tripled. I knew I either had to make lemonade and dig in or walk away right now. And I dug in! And that would be my advice for any person starting their career—invest in yourself and your hard work will pay off. Go the extra mile. Stay late. Take on extra projects. You will not only acquire extra skills, but you will learn a lot about yourself!
Betsy, you have a finance background and worked in investment banking for eighteen years. You were a managing director at Deutsche Bank and the head of their global sales team. What advice do you have for people who work in the finance industry, and especially women, as it is still a very male dominated field?
I think that this is a fantastic time to be a woman in finance. Almost across the board, major finance companies have been investing in female talent and the numbers of women in management roles continues to grow. My biggest piece of advice would be to say that women in finance should confidently bring a female perspective to their work. The desire for workforce diversity in banking is a reflection of a customer base that is not at all homogenous, so don’t assume that you can only get ahead if you act and think in a masculine way.
Bridie, you have worked at magazines such as Vanity Fair and New York Magazine, you’ve also written six books and founded a coffee company. May you please tell us a bit more about your experience and your advice for writers?
I always scratched my head at my zig-zaggy career path until I realized that what I love most about writing is the same thing I love about being an entrepreneur: Starting from scratch with just an idea and helping to turn it into a book, an article, a business. I got a lot out of the time I spent working in publishing, including a sense of the development process and the market. Writers can benefit from thinking like entrepreneurs, viewing their books as consumer products that need to reach and resonate with an audience.
Betsy, I loved your Huffington Post article, Female & 40: Breaking the Tech CEO Mold. You’ve all had such impressive careers prior to starting your QuadJobs. How do you think your experiences and families have shaped your current roles?
Females really do drive the economy in the US. Most day-to-day household spending decisions are made by women, many of them mothers. We feel there’s a strong business advantage to being a part of this powerful demographic ourselves, and in understanding and often sharing the mindset of our customers. We know what parents want when they hire a babysitter, dog walker, tutor, party helper. We know the information and references they need to feel confident making these important hires—it’s what we need. We have zero distance from our customers.
What advice would you give to someone in the first five years of her career?
Work hard. Pay attention. Ask questions. Listen.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Always do your best, because even small jobs offer the chance to make connections and build your reputation. (Some of the smallest jobs on QuadJobs have led to the biggest long-term opportunities for our students.)
Thank you Besty, Andra and Bridie!