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May 29, 2017

Penn alum's WayUp platform connects recent grads with jobs

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052917_WayUpPenn WayUp/YouTube


Millions of young people across the United States are now entering the professional world for the first time after this month's wave of commencements. Either that, or they're still looking to land that first job out of school. 

While many recent grads instinctively rely on sites such Indeed, LinkedIn and Monster to identify job listings, one local graduate of the University of Pennsylvania is at forefront of a new job search platform specifically tailored to recent graduates. 

Liz Wessel, CEO and co-founder of WayUp, was featured last week by Time in a story examining how work and internship experience during college is often an undersold advantage in finding opportunities near or after graduation. 

"When we looked back and reflected on why we were able to get jobs [out of college], a big part of that was the experience we had during college," said Fliegelman, a student entrepreneur and former Google employee. 

The spark for Wessel's company came from an experience she had during her sophomore year at Penn. When she was approached by Anheuser-Busch to help recruit mechanical engineers for full-time job openings, she wondered why such a big company would need the assistance of an undergraduate student to secure top talent. 

By 2014, Wessel teamed up with WayUp co-founder and CTO J.J. Fliegelman to launch a platform that could solve this problem for both companies and applicants. 

WayUp works by simplifying the application and search process based on the information listed in a user's profile. Machine learning algorithms match qualified users to jobs where there would likely be mutual interest—and if there is, an application can be submitted directly from the platform. 

"We want to democratize hiring and don't want to make it about who you know," Wessel told Time.