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Meet Jeffrey Moss of Parker Dewey in River North

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeffrey Moss.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Jeffrey. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Having spent almost 20 years as a venture investor in education and technology companies, I recognized the challenges facing recent college graduates in securing the right full-time jobs and internships. For those students from under-represented populations or who lacked the “right” academic pedigree, this was particularly challenging – while they had the grit, intelligence, drive, and other skills to thrive, they were often screened out by automated tools based upon their GPA or resume. Even for those with strong academic backgrounds, they too are hindered by limited opportunity for career exploration.

To address this, I started Parker Dewey two years ago. In short, we developed a platform that allows college students and recent grads to execute short term projects on behalf of companies, providing the opportunity to demonstrate skills, expand their networks, explore career paths, and generate income. From companies, this provides immediate support from highly-motivated career launchers, while also helping them identify and “audition” candidates for internships and full-time roles.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Fortunately, we had a deep understanding of the “points of pain” faced by all three stakeholder groups: college students/recent grads, companies, and colleges/universities. Because of this, we were able to develop a model that helped all three address their needs without creating additional work or friction.

That said, the biggest challenge has been helping professionals recognize that this is an option. No longer do they need to burn cycles on important assignments that may not be the best use of their time. No longer are they limited to working with freelancers who are based overseas and have zero interest in doing a great job. No longer do they need to rely on GPA and interviews when hiring a college student for an internship or job (especially given the massive level of attrition at this career stage).

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Parker Dewey story. Tell us more about the business.
When starting the business, I considered what would make me not want to be a client. The result is we built a platform with zero friction. For companies, there are no costs to sign up, they define the project, they select the candidates, and we handle all of the paperwork – it’s easier than Uber as you’re not stuck with who we think is the best person. Beyond that, if a company wants to hire someone for a full-time role or intern there are no fees, something that is vital to our mission.

The result is that we continuously get notes from career launchers thanking us for changing their lives. So many of this talented individuals were able to get their shot through our Micro-Internships, and leveraged them into full-time roles. I get chills thinking about it.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
We were very lucky to have come up with the idea for Parker Dewey when we did as I’m not sure it would have worked five or ten years earlier. Specifically, it has only been in the past few years that companies have been as open to working with remote freelancers on professional projects. We have been able to build upon this acceptance, helping companies recognize that the benefits go beyond the immediate support – they can be a path to hiring.

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