An online professional service, called Meed, has expanded its network at Stanford, seeking to provide services that typical career centers cannot and trying to give students the opportunity to present themselves more holistically.
Meed’s website highlights its career services and professional-identity building. According to Meed CEO Ravi Teja Vadrevu, Meed hopes to provide students with services that campus career centers, such as BEAM, cannot.
Stanford was among the first 20 universities to have access to Meed. This past October, Meed expanded its services to all students, opening its doors to anyone with a “.edu” email. Now, the network includes students from over 200 universities and 3,000 job listings from 450 companies.
The number of students on Meed has been growing quickly, and by the end of the month they hope to double the size of their user base, according to Vadrevu.
“Once we got enough traction from the top 20 schools, we expanded to all students in October,” said Vadrevu. “And since October we have been operating around the clock. The last two months we got around 12,000 new users. So in the last two months we got to around 15,000 users. And we are expecting to hit 30,000 by the end of January.”
Meed has no relationship with BEAM, according to Sheetal Patel, director of Branding and Digital Communities, or even Stanford at large, according to Lisa Lapin, assistant vice president of University Communications. Meed is not officially affiliated with any universities.
“The unique value proposition is the aspect of connecting with students from other universities, industry leaders, alumni and recruiters at a group level based on their majors (for example: software engineering students have 12,000 people),” Vadrevu said in an email. “Students showcase their identity by building portfolios, gaining followers, answering questions and asking influencers questions.”
This January, Meed launched its private community service for Stanford students, which was previously only available to students at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Southern California, according to Jack Sloman, head of Marketing at Meed.
“Essentially these are groups on Meed that only Stanford students and alumni can access,” Sloman said. “We previously found success with them at USC and Berkeley, and Stanford is the next school on our list.”
These private communities enable Stanford students to discuss subjects that may be irrelevant to the larger community on Meed but relevant to the Stanford community, such as courses, professors and Stanford-specific career opportunities. Stanford students can also create sub-groups within the private community. According to Sloman, Meed chose to open private communities to Stanford in order to help facilitate the entrepreneurial activities of students.
“We choose Stanford as the next school to launch university groups at because a lot of students at your university are producing original apps, content, designs, art, research etc. and we want to make it easier for them to find other students who would also be interested in learning about and participating in their independent projects.”
A key asset of Meed is it’s network of career opportunities. Some students, such as Sherman Leung ’16, joined Meed to access certain job applications that were only available through Meed.
“I was trying to apply to an internship at Quora and Quora required me to go through Meed, so I set up a profile with them,” said Sherman Leung ‘16. Leung said his application to Quora required using a portfolio builder, a Meed feature which allows students to upload various projects to share with employers.
“You can think of portfolio as a timeline where you keep a paper you have had returned, the clubs you are working on [and] so people tag these portfolios items and then that gets identified by students from other schools based on the tag,” Vadrevu said. “They want to build their personality and we use it as a way for them to get identified through these tags.”
“And another interesting thing I think we found in terms of trends and research is that a lot of recruiters we are working with are not just interested in going off the students’ resumes — they want to see the student holistically,” Sloman said.
Despite these features, some students have not found the Meed site especially advantageous.
“I personally did not find it very helpful,” said Leung. “For me, it was just a means to an end because I had to get an application into Quora.”
“I had to create a profile once to apply for a job and haven’t used it since,” said Adam Brostowicz ’16 in an email to the Daily.
Contact Blanca Andrei at bandrei ‘at’ stanford.edu.