For some students, college may be about staying awake in class long enough to walk across the stage with a diploma, but for Keene State College junior Gregory Hemmer, college has been the time to help educate other students about their future employment.
The Londonderry, N.H., native grew up athletic, outgoing and not really focused on the professional side of things. “I wasn’t focused on the future,” Hemmer said.
Hemmer and his business partner, University of New Hampshire student Brendan Murphy, created an idea to start a company strictly to help students “take control of their online reputation.”
The two are also working with Travis Brodeen, owner of the marketing firm Envoken in Austin, Texas.
Hemmer discovered that employers don’t see a lot of positive content when looking up millennials for potential employment and he decided it was time for something to be done about it.
After taking a design and construction course here at KSC, Hemmer said he was inspired to create a website about himself, rather than a website he wouldn’t use in the future.
“I used my website to apply for a few internships, and I was hired as a marketing intern at a car dealership in my hometown,” Hemmer said.
He said the first thing his employer said to him was how blown away he was that [Hemmer] had his own website.
“[His employer] said he didn’t even bother to look me up on Facebook, as many employers do, after he saw my website,” Hemmer said.
Rather than setting aside the website, Hemmer was inspired to help other people his age take control about what their future employers view about them online.
Hemmer and Murphy created a website called Resumysite where students can easily create their own website complete with their resume, biography, photos and any other content they would like employers to see.
The two of them are currently in the process of gaining investment to finally create their vision.
“We realized that a lot of people our age weren’t getting hired as quickly as they’d like for internships, and the people we knew who had already graduated had to settle for a job they didn’t really want right away,” Hemmer said.
He said he and Murphy did some research to see why this was.
“We did some research and found out that our generation has a really bad reputation with older people; they judge us a lot,” Hemmer said.
He said that their research showed that 80 percent of employers are searching job candidates’ names online before even calling them for an interview.
“Our research showed that millennials are known to feel that they are worth more than they really are,” Hemmer said.
“Employers think our parents give us anything we want and that we don’t have a strong work ethic,” he said.
Hemmer wanted to change that.
Currently studying management with a specialization in marketing, Hemmer said his current goal is to educate as many students as possible about how they can control what employers see online.
“We want to go around the country to as many schools as possible just to educate students about what employers are looking for,” Hemmer said.
He said he and Murphy don’t want to advertise their company to students.
“The worst thing you could do is talk to students and have them think you’re tricking them into buying something,” he said.
He said speaking to students is just “a part of the journey.”
He said he wants to inform students about how employers really are looking students up before calling them for an interview, and how it is important that students take control of what they view.
“Sometimes, Google searches show up as completely different people, and that can confuse employers,” Hemmer said.
He said that with all the competition in the world, employers are going to choose the candidates who impress them the most.
“If candidates have good things about them online, that impresses employers and puts those people ahead before they even go in for an interview,” he said.
“We really just want to help students put their best foot forward in the job market today,” Hemmer said.
Hemmer said he plans to gain investment to develop his company within the next three months, but right now, his focus is strictly on informing students about what employers can view online.
He and Murphy will be booking their first event to speak to students within the first week of October.
They said they plan on starting local at community colleges and surrounding state schools.
Then after they gain credibility, they will travel the country to speak to students from all around the United States.
“Our goal is just to educate as many students as we can,” he said.
Hemmer said students that are interested in the company can sign up online at Resumysite.com.
As of their first week, Hemmer said they had over 1,000 sign ups.
As for his own future, Hemmer said he sees himself running his own company in five years.
“Some people are okay with working nine to five everyday, but I just don’t want to be working 40 hours a week for someone else when I could be doing my own thing,” he said.
He said his dream is to be able to hire his smart and responsible friends to work for him so he can create the best business possible.
To any other students hoping to start their own company one day, Hemmer advises them to work hard.
“It’s all about taking action,” he said. “We have one life to live and you can actually do anything you want to do, you just have to work towards it.”
Just because students are still in school, Hemmer said, doesn’t mean they can’t start a business.
“People think that they can’t start a company because they’re in college and broke, but anyone can do it,” Hemmer said.
“Anyone can start their own company if they have the ambition to do so.”
MacKenzie Clarke can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org