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Thursday, October 28, 2021

UC Davis graduate creates online website to connect students with professionals for career advice

CHRIS TUNG / COURTESY
CHRIS TUNG / COURTESY

Huttle helps students receive career advice from professionals at Google, Amazon, Facebook

Recent UC Davis graduate Chris Tung along with Michelle Masek from Arizona State University have created a website and app called Huttle, an online system that connects college students with recent graduates and working professionals in top businesses such as Google, Amazon and Facebook. Students on this site can seek career advice and ask any questions they have about potential career goals.

“Huttle is a community for career help,” Tung said. “Huttlers can ask questions to our tight-knit community and get fast, personalized answers from successful professionals and peers who tackled similar career problems. Huttlers can also share links and advice they read on the internet to surface up content that other Huttlers might find helpful in their career journeys.”

According to U.S census data, 40 percent of the nation’s unemployed are millennials: 4.6 million young people out of work. The amount of millennials making less than $25,000 a year has also spiked significantly in recent years. Tung said that this is why Huttle was created: to give students access to honest, meaningful and personalized career advice to help them jumpstart their career journeys.

Tung and Masek were coworkers at Imgur, a popular website for image discovery. While discussing one day what they would do if money was not an issue, they both realized they were most fulfilled when helping other people with their careers. They then began researching and decided to create Huttle. The two are currently a small unit in Silicon Valley consisting only of themselves and two student interns from Sacramento State and Arizona State Universities.

Masek believes that Huttle has the ability to help and support students who do not have access to important networks by giving them the chance to expand their career knowledge and connections. Masek described Huttle as a “supportive, mission driven [and] democratized” company.

Since its launch in August of last year, over 300 users have signed up across its three target universities — UC Davis, Sacramento State and Arizona State University. The website has helped over 20 students and recent graduates with career questions and connections with companies like Google and Amazon.

On the site, new Huttle users are introduced to a feed of customized career topics most interesting to that user, plus some professionals the user might be interested in learning from. The main feed also consists of all the current posts on Huttle sorted by most popular. “Your Feed” is where the user is recommended posts based on other “Huttlers” and topics the user follows. A “Huttler” can share their own post, comment on other posts, upvote posts and favorite posts to read later.

The website has been promoted through the company’s student interns and PR work. Huttle’s network has also increased by welcoming new professionals and college students.

“One of the most magical things is seeing new users and not knowing where they are coming from,” Masek said. “The network is growing exponentially and it’s a nice feeling.”  

Masek and Tung hope Huttle’s next wave of features will include collaboration on cover letters or resumes, private messaging and a way to send personalized thank you’s to Huttlers who gave exceptional advice.

Christa Lin, a fourth-year economics major, finds this site to be extremely helpful and believes that it has a lot of potential.

“Looking at the site and reading posts already motivates me to learn more from the professionals on here,” Lin said. “I think this would be really helpful for people like me about to graduate and low-key worrying about my future.”

Tung and Masek hope to continue growing and expanding Huttle to create a helpful and advantageous community for many college students.

“There’s a lot for us to do so we’re trying to stay focused on the projects in front of us,” Tung said. “Our long term mission is to build a global community where people support each other in their careers, and if we’re successful, then we’ll build a world where people are never alone on their career journey.”

Huttle is currently looking to hire student interns. Interested students can visit Huttle’s website and create an account at http://huttle.co or download the iOS App on the Apple app store.
Written by: Demi Caceres — campus@theaggie.org

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