Today we meet Andra Newman, Betsy O’Reilly and Bridie Loverro founders of QuadJobs.
Our recent chat with the founders of QuadJobs, the Greenwich CT base company that wants to connect college and graduate students to local job opportunities.
Read their story below, and discover the top three must have skills to be a successful entrepreneur.
Q: Please tell us a little bit about your company – what is QuadJobs all about?
QuadJobs is an online marketplace that connects college and graduate students with flexible jobs in their community—families looking for babysitters or tutors, people who need help moving furniture or serving food at a party, Main Street employers in search of flexible, low-commitment extra help on everything from Social Media to holiday sales staff.
Students find jobs that fit into their changing schedules—whether they have five hours a week or five hours a semester, they can make money. QuadJobs tracks each job a student takes, and gathers performance reviews from employers, so even small jobs become part of something much bigger—a student’s “JobGPA.” Employers use the JobGPA to see a student’s track record and make a smart hire.
Q: Please tell us a little bit about your background and how you started your company?
Our backgrounds are very different. Betsy has a finance background, having worked in investment banking for 18 years, eventually as a Managing Director at Deutsche Bank and the head of their global sales team. Andra is our recruitment expert. She started at Korn Ferry before working on college outreach at Abercrombie, and then headed recruitment for J.Crew as the company went public. Bridie’s background is creative; She worked at magazines such as Vanity Fair and New York magazine, done some marketing and written six books. What we have in common is that we’ve started businesses in the past and have had previous entrepreneurial success.
Q: Quickly describe what an average working day is like for you?
Our team is small and we each wear many hats. While we’re looking forward to growing our ranks, there’s something great about the fact that we go from a long intense meeting with our development team right into running a booth at a Sidewalk Sale, where we’re interacting with families and local business owners who could use help from QuadJobbers. No day feels the same.
Q: What would you say are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur – and why?
- We spent a lot of time talking to potential employers and understanding their needs. We thought that local businesses would be our bread and butter, given their need to bring in occasional, educated extra help without increasing payroll, but quickly saw that families represent over 50% of our employers using the site. We’re constantly making adjustments.
- It’s a cliché, but if you want to start a successful business you cannot be a person who gets discouraged easily. You have to expect it will be a daily battle. It helps if you sort of enjoy that aspect of it.
- A willingness to ask questions and listen to the answers. When we started QuadJobs, none of us had ever worked for—let alone started—a tech company. We ask questions constantly and have been fortunate to be guided and advised by a variety of smart people.
Q: What are your plans for the future, how do you plan to grow this company?
After building our initial base in the TriState area, QuadJobs is now expanding into new markets across the country, including Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Columbus OH, and Minneapolis. Our goal is to become a cornerstone of the college experience—you get to campus, buy your books, register for QuadJobs. 85% of college students nationally receive financial aid. We want to provide students at every college an active, dynamic job board that they can reference constantly. We’re building an App to make it all the more convenient for students and employers to reach each other.
Q: How do you go about marketing your business and what has been the most successful form of marketing for you?
The more we can show off the great kids we have using QuadJobs, the better. We try to use students as much as possible to spread the word to employers, as they are truly the best possible advertisement for our business. We see huge growth from word of mouth, and so when we launch in a new city, we seed the employer pool with free subscriptions to get jobs up for the local students Day One. Our email marketing has been very successful. Employers love to get inspiration about what kinds of jobs they can post. We’re about to launch our blog, which will continue to give employers insights on creative job posts and the quality of our students, and we are starting to use social media more effectively to get the word out. We do local events and partner with established brands.
Q: What’s your definition of success?
We want to connect Campus and Community in a new way, and to create a robust marketplace that meets needs on both sides. We want to improve the way college and graduate students work while in school, helping them become more prepared for the workforce when they graduate. We want families and Main Street businesses to benefit from employing these great kids.
Q: What are three books you recommend entrepreneurs to read?
- The Creators Code, by Amy Wilkinson.
- The Second Machine Age, by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee
- The Lean Start Up by Eric Ries
Q: What is your favorite entrepreneurship quote?
“Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford