Laynie Clark | Symbio Hush Creative | Creative Producer | ’24

“This opportunity has excited me like no other and it is all thanks to the S+S community. Applying for the program was so simple, efficient, and constructive. After completing the easy application and receiving my acceptance email, my resume was sent out to all the participating candidates. So, in a matter of seconds, I had essentially applied for internships with tons of companies. I began reaching out to my favorite startups and immediately received compassionate responses, inviting me to meet with them via zoom or in-person. While every startup was amazing to speak with, I ultimately decided to pursue my internship with The Down Market [Symbio Hush], and I am counting down the days until I start my journey.”

Students + Startups hosts ‘Speed Interview Night’ for participating candidates
Written by S+S Intern Laynie Clark | Videos and Commentary

As many students embark on their final few semesters, they begin frantically searching for their purpose. The Students + Startups program is here to make that process just a little bit easier.

With the idea of uplifting young professionals, the S+S program provides a streamlined process of connecting college students with flourishing startups. One of the ways the program enforces these connections is through its highly popular “Speed Interview Night,” where students get the chance to market themselves through a fast-paced performance to prospective startups.

On the fifth floor of the Rand Building, startups were preparing their questions and setting up their individual booths while students anxiously checked in. During the waiting period, The Down Market team took the opportunity to get familiar with the waiting students. Through on-camera interviews, the students detailed their excitement for the event and their admiration for the program.

Additionally, the students expressed hopeful outcomes, saying they had specific startups that they wanted to connect with. Still, in the waiting area, students began interacting with one another, already making connections with possible co-workers. Witnessing the interactions evoked a sense of excitement for the event and the positive impact it was already making, all before the event officially started.

As startups settled into their seats, The Down Market made sure to get their side of the story. Much like the students, the startups were giddy with excitement and filled with hope. Many expressed their appreciation for the program’s application process because it attracted a phenomenal group of students.

Finally, after sitting in a room buzzing with anxiety, the event began. Almost immediately, the energy in the room was different; gone was the anxiety, which had been replaced with determination. Students fluttered to their first interview, ready for their first 10-minute interaction.

Based on pure observation, the interviews appeared to be going swimmingly. Both the participating students and startups were visibly delighted with the ongoing conversation, soaking up every word that was spoken. After the 10-minute time limit was up, chaos ensued as students rushed to their next post.

There were nine rounds total, giving everyone enough time to make meaningful connections. Fortunately, the S+S program leaders provided everyone with food, which fueled participants as they continued through the rounds. Seeing the interviews take place was inspiring because it was clear that genuine, professional relationships were being crafted and curated between the students and the startups.

As the interviews concluded, the room was filled with visible hope from both parties. As students started saying their goodbyes and making final networking efforts, the startups were already planning their next moves by discussing the candidates with their team.

The event was a smashing success for the program and the participants; it was evident that true magic was created that night through conversation. The concept of “speed interviews” is not new, though it is definitely not implemented enough. Speed interviewing provided people with efficient opportunities to connect with favorable employers while being surrounded by like-minded individuals.