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The Future of Startups: A Home for Liberal Arts Majors

Mark Cuban boldly predicts that tech startups will need to hire more liberal arts majors to succeed. Seriously?

In an interview with Bloomberg's Cory Johnson at the NBA All-Star Technology Summit in New Orleans, Cuban argues why he thinks liberal arts majors will be in high demand in the coming years, “No finance. That's the easiest thing — you just take the data have it spit out whatever you need. I personally think there's going to be a greater demand in 10 years for liberal arts majors than there were for programming majors and maybe even engineering, because when the data is all being spit out for you, options are being spit out for you, you need a different perspective in order to have a different view of the data. And so having someone who is more of a freer thinker.”

Although hardware and software engineers continue to top the salary charts, tech startups are learning that employees with liberal arts degrees offer important value. As trained storytellers, liberal arts majors help companies go beyond the numbers and humanize their sales and marketing efforts, driven by engagement and a broad understanding of the world that can inform their respective positions.

Over the last three years, Sage Corps has sent 200 college students to intern with tech startups on 5 continents, in 8 international cities. Our data has increasingly shown that any student can be “entrepreneurial” and make significant contributions to early-stage startups. 50% of our students are women, 47% are minorities, and are studying 80 different majors, many of which are liberal arts-focused, including economics, psychology, history and philosophy.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that by 2022 around 2 million more Americans will enter the workforce as educators and sales associates. As the tech industry advances, these opportunities won’t just be in academic institutions or retail stores. Startup ecosystems will continue to grow and evolve, creating demand for coaches, trainers, leaders and business developers. The Liberal Arts are far ahead of other areas of study in serving this demand.

The soft skills developed through a Liberal Arts education are some of the most valuable in the workplace. Soft skills refer to the way employees relate to and interact with other people. The Multi-Generational Job Search Study 2014 by Millennial Branding said employers ranked the following as the most highly desired qualities in candidates: communication skills, a positive attitude and the ability to work in a team, all of which can be labeled as soft skills. Additional soft skills often sought out by employers include critical thinking, problem solving, writing, the ability to communicate directly with customers, and fitting into a company’s culture.

Software development and processes will continue to become more and more automated. Content is immediately available, and plug-and-play widgets are multiplying exponentially, meaning fewer people in the tech space. However, the need for non-tech employees—people needed to make the widgets look good, write supporting documents, and maintain human connections with customers—continues to rise.

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City Spotlight: Hong Kong

A Peek into Hong Kong

Hong Kong has one of the most breathtaking skylines you can imagine (refer to image above!). This former British colony has become a major tourist destination for travelers from all around the world. It has also become an important hub in East Asia and is a true international metropolis.  Today, Hong Kong truly is an international metropolis full of diversity–while a majority of the population is Chinese, many people from all over the world also call Hong Kong home. The climate is sub-tropical but the air is cooling because of the sea breezes. While Hong Kong does enjoy four seasons, the maximum temperature in Hong Kong is only about 90°F in summer and the lowest is about 50°F in winter.

Around the City

There are ample things to see and do in Hong Kong. You’ll find that the architecture in Hong Kong is both traditional and modern. You’ll find glass-walled skyscrapers, but also traditional heritage all over the city.  You’ll also find that there is more to Hong Kong than just tall buildings; outside of the main city, you’ll find breathtaking scenery and landscapes. Hiking is a weekend activity you’ll definitely want to have on your to-do list. If you’re not a nature person, Hong Kong also has various theme parks for you to enjoy.

The Culture

Hong Kong’s culture was born from China, but because of its 150-year rule as a British colony (and political separation from mainland China), they have a unique local identity. Cantonese is the most widely spoken language in Hong Kong today–learning just a few phrases will get you far. Because of the unique culture in Hong Kong, there are festivals and holidays year-round that reflect the melting-pot of people that populate the city. Some of the largest festivals you’ll find are the Lunar New Year, Spring Lantern Festival, and Christmas.

Startup Scene

The startup industry in Hong Kong is still in its early stages which means enormous levels of growth for new companies. Today, Hong Kong is working its way to becoming one of Asia’s hottest startup hubs, especially in Fintech and Internet of Things (IoT).  In fact, Acadine raised $100M in June 2015. Following that, Hong Kong based fintech startup WeLab raised $160M by itself in early 2016. Accelerators and incubators such as BluePrint, Cyberport, and Nest are booming in today’s industry. If you’re ever looking to test the water in Hong Kong, Web Wednesday, Startup Grind, and CoCoon Pitch are events to look out for!

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Experience is the New Classroom, and the Tuition is More than Worth It

A well-rounded education may start in the classroom, but global experience proves to be the deciding factor when chasing that dream job. Experience with people of all ages, races, languages, cultures, religions and lifestyles allows students the opportunity to take their classroom education and apply what they’ve learned to the “real world”.

Meanwhile, 21st century employers need a globally trained workforce to compete in the global economy.

 

The Importance of Study Abroad

According to Transitions Abroad, nearly 90% of study abroad alumni secured a job within the first 6 months after graduation and 97% secured a job after one year (compared to 49% in graduate population). Additionally, over 80% believed that spending time abroad helped them acquire their first position due to valuable professional skills developed overseas such as language knowledge, cultural training, tolerance for ambiguity, and communication.

Those stats are compelling, but what if students could get work experience during their time abroad? What if students who venture out of the country for a semester could then step out of the classroom to work alongside local professionals? The latest numbers from IIE’s Open Doors Report show that .12%—barely a tenth of 1% of all college students—will get global work experience before graduation.

Employers definitely take notice. According to a 2016 report conducted by Mercer, surveyed employers expressed that “Global mindset” was an characteristic they would be looking for when hiring in the near future. “Global mindset” ranks as the number one in-demand skill for companies in Italy, and number two China and Japan and follows an overall trend in 2016 for employees to have “Cultural Literacy.” In the US, “Global mindset” is identified as one of the top five skills employers look for in potential employees. Engaging students in professional development alongside their international studies prepares for this future work-need.

Since 2013, Sage Corps has developed programming to solve this problem. Through its academic curriculum (direct-enrolling students at foreign universities) and meaningful work experience alongside global entrepreneurs at start up companies, Sage Corps “fellows” return to the U.S. with a resume that will rise to the top of any prospective employers’ stack of candidates. Our Fellows walk into subsequent job interviews and tell a compelling professional narrative, statistically unlike any of their peers.
 

Why Sage Corps?

Sage Corps is a global entrepreneurship program that sends top university students abroad to work with tech startups for a summer or semester. Sage Corps gives students the opportunity to hop on a plane, step out of their comfort zone, and catapult themselves into the top one percent of their peers. Unlike other intern abroad programs, Sage Corps fellows do not spend 12 hours per week sitting in a corporate cubicle. By working with local entrepreneurs, who bet their livelihood on solutions that they build to real problems, Sage Corps fellows get real responsibility. Sitting next to a company CEO, CTO, or CMO, our Fellows are held accountable for their successes, and their failures. This sort of professional experience prepares Fellows to tackle any subsequent professional challenge with relative ease. And subsequent employers take notice.

We asked our alumni (177 at the time) about their subsequent job prospects after finishing Sage Corps.  

98% of our alumni said that their Sage Corps global internship experience was a key differentiator that helped them land a job after college, while the same number of students said that Sage Corps helped them to determine their next professional opportunity.

100% of our alumni said they would recommend the Sage Corps program to students looking to study and/or intern abroad.  

In an increasingly global economy, experience is the new classroom, and study abroad programs should better prepare students to join the global workforce.

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6 Do's and Don'ts of Résumé Writing

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6 Do's and Don'ts of Résumé Writing

Your résumé is one of the first pieces of communication between you and a hiring manager. That is why it is so important to make sure that this ‘conversation’ is fruitful for both parties. Résumé trends change every so often, so it’s best to review your résumé every couple of months to make sure everything is up to date.

Here are 6 do's and don’ts of résumé writing for 2017.

 

 

Do:

1.     Include Contact Info
This seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to update their contact information on their résumés. If this information is incorrect, you’re just making it harder for the manager to reach you when they want to.
Tip: Since most résumés are submitted online nowadays, make sure to save your résumé as a PDF instead of an editable file. It's also great if you can include hyperlinks to your LinkedIn and Portfolio in the soft copy.

2.     Put in Achievements & Numbers
It’s great to explain your job responsibilities in detail, but managers are really looking to validate the information you give them. Make sure you add in your achievements and any relevant numbers that might help do so. For example, “Managed product sales of up to $8,000 daily”.
Tip: Here is an article that will help you quantify your accomplishments.

3.     Use Keywords
When we say keywords, we don’t mean overusing buzzwords to make your résumé look better. We mean using keywords in your job descriptions and summary to better demonstrate how you used your skills on the job. That way you also save yourself some space from having a “Skills” section.
Tip: Make sure the keywords you use are relevant to the job.

 

Don’t:

4.     Overdo formatting & styling
Formatting is key when it comes to résumés. Formatting can help your résumé stand out and communicate your personality. BUT, understand that there is a fine line between something professional and overly fancy. Make sure you format and style your résumé based on your industry – if you’re a graphic designer, you probably have more creative leeway than a business analyst.
Tip: Here are a bunch of free résumé templates that you can use right away.

5.     Include everything you’ve ever done
We know you’re trying to show a hiring manager that you have skills and experience and are qualified for the job. But a common mistake job candidates make is trying to include every piece of information and ending up with a 3-page résumé. As a fresh college grad, 1-page résumé are the norm, so just include the relevant experience and information based on the job that you’re applying for.

6.     Forget to proofread
Another obvious one, but still many people make typos or grammatical errors on their résumés. Nothing shows unprofessionalism and a lack of attention to detail than a misspelled word. Try writing out your résumé content and coming back to it later to do your proofreading. Better yet, send it to a friend, family member, or mentor to lend a second pair of eyes. 

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5 Tips for Acing Your Sage Corps (or any other) Interview

In the last three years, my team has interviewed thousands of top college students from hundreds of universities across the United States. Students always tell us that they want to join Sage Corps’ global entrepreneurship program. However, many cannot show us why. When asked, only some articulate a deep understanding of our program  even after reviewing the website and filling out a lengthy application. Why are many of America’s best and brightest falling short in their interviews? There are likely multiple factors at play, but I think we can help solve the broader problem with a handful of simple steps that students can apply to any professional interview:

Be Responsive

We received over 1,000 applicants for our latest cohort. Of those, we selected a portion to invite for interviews. If you receive an interview invitation, you should respond as soon as possible. Your response time reveals your interest and engagement level (I realize there are exceptions).  We do not recommend waiting a week to respond. If you have since accepted another offer, please let us know. It’s best to respond to emails from all potential employers and to build your broader network along the way.

Be Prepared

Read our website, cover-to-cover. Everything. Look up our team on LinkedIn (get on LinkedIn if you haven’t already). Learn about our team’s professional and/or personal background and see where we have connections with you. Additionally, do some research about startups. Know what they are and why working at a startup is an interesting opportunity at this specific point in your education and career development.

Tell Your Story

Why you? Why not one of the hundreds of other similar applications in the stack? Be memorable. We can read your résumé. What we don’t know, however, is how you can weave your résumé into your broader “professional narrative”—your story. Pull in anecdotes that humanize your experience and show us why you would be a good fit to help scale a startup.

Smile

We’re excited about Sage Corps, and want you to be, too! We conduct video interviews so that we can get a sense of the person behind the paper. If you aren't excited enough about this professional opportunity to smile during your interview, or when visualizing yourself in the role, you probably applied to the wrong place.

Say 'Thank You'

A thank you note goes a long way in separating you from the rest. You can include some things that excited you during the interview. This is also a great way to build your network and be memorable.

Everyone gets nervous during the first few interviews. Once you get the hang of it, interviewing can actually be fun. Just remember to be friendly, polite, and engaged. While you chat with our team, we want to make sure that you feel comfortable with us, and that our program is the best fit for you. Always remember that you can turn the interview on the interviewer. We want this opportunity to be a partnership - you should learn about us as we learn about you.

Good luck - we hope to meet you soon!

P.S. Here are a few questions you may be asked during your interview:

  • Why are you interested in Sage Corps?

  • What do you hope to get out of the Sage Corps experience?

  • Which academic, professional, or life experiences have prepared you to make an impact at a startup?

  • How would you pitch yourself to a startup and show that you could bring value to them?

 

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Recruit Diverse College Talent—By Sending Them Abroad

This blog post was written by our CEO, Matt Meltzer. 

Since 2013, I've dedicated full days (and many nights) to send top college students abroad to work with entrepreneurs at global startups. Alongside this effort, I dove head-first into the tech space, absorbing as much as I could. One persistent and ubiquitous problem that I found across tech, and more broadly, most employers, is lack of diversity. Many companies, big and small, report a far less diverse workforce than the census-reported breakdown of U.S. college students: 58% white, 16% Hispanic, 15% black, and 8.1% Asian. The discrepancy between the number of diverse students on college campuses and diverse employees in the workforce may have multiple explanations, I'm sure. That discussion, however, is for another day. For now, I want to focus on creative solutions. And I think  can help.

3 years. 5 continents. 12 countries. 180 students. It's been an incredible ride at Sage Corps. Last month I spent time with my team reflecting on our program - we had sent surveys to all of our alums, and reviewed their feedback and insights. Compared to other college abroad programs, our Fellows stand out. According to Institute for International Education’s Open Doors Report, 1.5% of enrolled college students study abroad in some form (mostly short term programs). Of those students, 75% are white. Our students ("Fellows") look much different. Only 53% are white - our program already is more diverse than the average college campus. They are citizens of 16 different countries. Over 80% speak two or more languages.

Given our early success recruiting diverse candidates, we intend to double down. In doing so, I think we can also play a part in helping full-time employers improve their diversity hiring. Here's how:

Sage Corps has partnered with the Fund for Education Abroad ("FEA"), a 501(c)(3) whose mission is to fund scholarships for underrepresented groups to study abroad in college. Donors (corporates, foundations, individuals, etc.) can make a 100% tax-deductible contribution to FEA. FEA will then select students to receive scholarship awards to cover expenses for students to live and work abroad for a startup. Each scholarship award is $6,500.

Yes, prospective employers should pay for underrepresented students to go abroad and intern for a global startup. Here's why:

This scholarship program is an opportunity to help more college students get meaningful global training for a global economy. And with our past success attracting diverse candidates, especially for tech-focused positions, we think that employers can leverage our unique talent pipeline to recruit and engage more diverse candidates a year or two earlier (as underclassmen) than they normally would.

Before our Fellows arrive to your company, they will cut their teeth at global startups with limited resources where they tackle real problems and build real solutions.  Afterwards, they return home with substantive work product and clear deliverables to reflect their impact and value-add to their host startups. Ultimately, Sage Corps can become your company's entry-level training program.

The idea that an organization would pay prospective/current employees to get outside experience is not new. Many companies pay to send their own employees to business school, for example, and with good outcomes. And I know of multiple law firms that pay first-year law students the equivalent of a summer associate salary to go work in legal aid for the summer. The following summer, the student then comes to the law firm as a summer associate.    

Not surprisingly, our alums go on to impress recruiters and secure incredible professional opportunities, whether at consulting firms, investment banks, big corporations, tech companies, and of course startups.  Armed with extensive work product, our alums tell a more compelling professional narrative than their peers.

Our scholarship program will not solve the broader diversity problem that employers face overnight. But it's a start, and we're excited about the feedback we've received thus far. If you or your organization would like to learn more about our initiative, we would love to hear from you. You can reach out to me on LinkedIn, or you can send an email to info@sagecorps.com.

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9 Reasons to Intern at a Startup

As college students look for more opportunities to stand out in a pool of job candidates, they are taking their internship experiences outside of the corporate environment. Startups are becoming increasingly more common, and today’s college grads are finding these environments ideal for learning and growing.

We’ve outlined 9 reasons why interning at a startup is key to scoring that dream job.

1. They are young, just like you. Working with others that are close to you in age allows for a certain rapport that you wouldn’t get in another internship. Startups are personable, allowing for more tight-knit and successful teams.

2. Networking and travel opportunities. In order for startups, and their fearless entrepreneurial leaders, to find success, they must know and understand other key players in the startup community. Additionally, startups are constantly going global to find the most effective and efficient ways to grow. Traveling across the country, and even the globe, is an added benefit for many startup employees.

3. Inspiration and motivation. We’ve all heard the stories of big lawyers or corporate CEO’s leaving their high-paying jobs to follow their dreams (which often means building a startup.) It’s hard not to be inspired and motivated by a community with such a forward-thinking and creative mindset.  

4. Hands-on experience. Interns at startups are often given more responsibility right out of the gate. Startups are typically comprised of smaller teams, so interns are usually given the opportunity to do real work that gets real results.

5. Casual and flexible work environment. With a focus on growth and innovation, startups understand that happy employees are productive employees. Creativity and productivity flows much easier when employees are given the flexibility to work where and when they do their best work.

6. Your opinion matters. Startups often run a lean ship and aren’t interested in wasting time and resources on people that don’t have the company’s best interests in mind. This means all employees are heard, no matter their title.

7. They want you to succeed.  Because startups are small, they know that they must value and nurture all employees. A startup is only as good as its employees, so a successful team is priority number one.

8. No bureaucracy. Startups are not concerned with hierarchy. Titles are less important in the startup realm, as collaboration and innovation determine the true success of a startup.

9. Builds up your entrepreneurial skills. Working with a young startup requires problem solving skills, critical thinking, and flexibility. These skills are keys to becoming an entrepreneurial superstar. 

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The Endless Summer: Hong Kong Edition

Members of the Sage Corps 2016 Summer cohort in Hong Kong

Members of the Sage Corps 2016 Summer cohort in Hong Kong

This post was written by Emily Labattaglia, a member of our 2016 Summer cohort in Hong Kong. 


It’s unusual to reveal the reasoning for a story’s title at the very beginning. However, if I could truly encapsulate my experience this past summer in one word, it is endless. Although summer has come to an end, and we’re all well into another year of classes, what I’ve learned and experienced this past summer will stick with me forever. I call it the Endless Summer, for many reasons of which I am about to dive into.

I embarked on this journey to Hong Kong with an open mind, an eager heart, and an ambition and passion to see more and do more. What I came back with is more than words can adequately express. With Sage Corps, I was given two obvious opportunities: 1) to immerse myself in the startup scene and 2) to experience a different culture and what it’s like to live in a city abroad.

However, with these two obvious opportunities and the right perspective on things come endless opportunities. At my startup, Steel Available, I worked alongside the CEO and two co-founders on a daily basis. I learned the ins and outs of launching a startup - their struggles, milestones, successes, and failures. I was given a great deal of responsibility, and really felt that I had complete ownership of my projects and it was my company too. It’s definitely exciting and made me want to go to work each day and check the next tasks off of my to do list. There were even nights that I stayed later in the office just because I wanted to, the environment was energetic yet comforting. My startup was based in an accelerator and co-working space called Blueprint. Being surrounded by high-energy, motivated, entrepreneurs and hearing their stories truly instilled in me a sense of determination and a feeling that I could do anything I put my mind and energy to. There were always other entrepreneurs next to me with the same mission. My experience led me to realize and value the importance of the people by my side. My bosses became my friends. It was a sad farewell, especially after a summer filled of team bonding activities such as squash, swimming, family dinners, sushi and sake, and even karaoke!

So at the end of the work days, I would make the 15 minute walk back home. And there is nothing more exhilarating than walking on unexplored streets, hearing people speak a language you don’t know, and seeing signs you can’t read. You’re opened up to worlds you don’t know and haven’t yet explored, and it pushes you to keep learning and experiencing. Hong Kong is rich in culture, food, and geography. We would spend the weekdays working and the weeknights exploring the city, meeting new people, and eating delicious food. The city is home to cuisines from all over the world, but my favorite was definitely going out for dim sum and eating xiaolongbao (soup dumplings)! On the weekends, we were hiking mountains and riding speed boats to secret beaches. Hong Kong is an extremely diverse city - in people and geography. I encountered people from all over the world, speaking many languages. It’s a buzzing city with endless things to do and see, but then there is beautiful untouched nature close by. A break from the bustling city is only a subway or ‘minibus’ ride away, and you’re in a beach paradise or at the beginning of a challenging hike to the top of Hong Kong.

The combination of being abroad and working at a startup makes for a powerful one. You are exposed to unfamiliarities that force you to exit your comfort zone. It’s being faced with trying new foods, learning new customs, networking with people from across the world, and seeing breathtaking sites and views that give you the sense of motivation and inspiration. The intangibles I learned from my experience with Sage Corps has taught me endless lessons and opened up endless possibilities for my future. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

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Sage Corps City Spotlight: Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia

Sydney is much more than the beautiful skies and beaches, food, and vibrant population it offers visitors. According to Compass’ 2015 report, Sydney is ranked 16th among the top 20 global startup ecosystems.

“Around two-thirds of Australia’s startup activity takes place in Sydney, and almost half of all employees have prior experience in a startup (only 4% below Silicon Valley).”

The startup scene in Sydney has evolved and seen substantial growth in recent years. While Sydney is home to some outstanding successes such as Freelancer.com, Atlassian and OzForex, it is also seeing a surge of many new innovative startups set to take the world by storm.

Sydney’s ecosystem growth is primarily attributed to the increasing number of accelerators, incubators, co-working spaces and startup events. Thousands of tech startups have emerged from spaces such as Tank Stream Labs, Blue Chilli, Muru-D and Fishburners, proving that with the right resources and environment, Sydney is more than capable of producing successful businesses.

Often referred to as “Silicon Beach,” Sydney boasts several “pros” to those looking to join the startup scene.

  1. Lifestyle: Sydney draws potential entrepreneurs with its pristine beaches, great food, and virtually perfect climate. The population of the city is well-educated, multi cultural and law abiding, which makes it a much prized location.

  2. Neighbor to South East Asia: Sydney is in close proximity to the Southeast Asia Pacific region, home to many of the world’s most rapidly developing startup ecosystems.

  3. Timezone: Sydney’s timezone overlaps with both the US West Coast and major Asian capitals.

  4. Coffee: In Sydney, coffee isn’t fuel—it’s a way of life. Pair it with a perfect slice of avo toast and you're in heaven.

At Sage Corps, we provide our Fellows with opportunities to work with a few of the emerging startups in Sydney. Working out of accelerators and incubators, Fellows have jumped into all aspects of the startup life cycle, from conception to rapid development to global scaling.

In his recent blog, Sage Corps Fellow Robert Durst explained his experience working with one of Sydney’s newer startups, “as a computer science and math major I had spent the last six weeks developing an iOS mobile application, mirroring our already developed Android application for our technology-driven, delivery service startup, Delivery Rocket. Every day consisted of discussions with my two bosses — Brett Higgins, MD and Co-Founder, and Brandon Grenier, CTO and Co-Founder — whom I sat between everyday, lunches with Brett, and many hours of coding. My role was usually well defined, but since we were a startup, I was sometimes asked to take on other roles.”

Adam Rawot, another Sage Corps Fellow, shared his insight about working at Dave’s Deals, a tech startup in Sydney, “We were working some weird hours, the expectations were high, and our career expectations of ourselves were higher still. But around that time something clicked, and we got so much clarity into why this was all happening. Maybe the companies we worked for wouldn’t exist in a few years, but at least the ideas we offered were our own. We were helping steer these companies and products. If being able to walk 5 minutes to a beach hadn’t convinced me Australia was the right place to work, feeling like I had made a meaningful impact in a couple of companies cemented it.”

In addition to the thriving startup scene, Sydney offers a wide variety of cultural and outdoor experiences. Durst explains, “the difference between my internship experience, living abroad for eight weeks, and a two-week vacation can be summed up in two words “cultural immersion.”  Throughout my eight week internship, I met Brett’s family, Brett’s friends, picked up Australian slang, and discovered local food delicacies, like Oporto and Salt, Meat, Cheese. I also went to local sporting events, almost learned the rules of Aussie Rules Rugby, and memorized my walk to work through the CBD (Central Business District). From the work week to the weekend excursions, in a short eight weeks, I fell in love with Australia. All in all, working in the Sydney CBD, immersing myself in Australian culture, avoiding the tourist bus, meeting locals, and exploring the backroads of Australia was not simply incredible; it was unreal.”

In Sydney there is an overwhelming sense that anything is possible. It is easy to get excited about business in Sydney, which in turn makes building a business there incredibly rewarding.

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How Global Internships are Changing the Way Graduates Get Jobs

An International Economy

It’s no secret that today’s economy has gone global. We are a connected community, and will only become more so in the future. Often times, a single product or project is completed by numerous people on different continents, speaking different languages, and living in different cultures.

10 years ago, the idea that a small business or startup could do business internationally was less than popular. Today, however, you’d be hard-pressed to find a business that doesn’t deal, in some way, with someone overseas.
 

Getting an Edge on the Competition

The more that technology allows us to connect to one another, the more global opportunities emerge. Although it is becoming easier to work across borders and seas, only seven percent of American graduates have global work experience (IEE 2015).  That means that of the nearly two million students that graduate from college each year, only about 120,000 have gone abroad to intern or work.

According to the Job Preparedness Indicator Survey conducted by the Career Advisory Board at DeVry University, employers expressed that “Global Outlook” was an area where there was a significant gap for graduating seniors. “Global Outlook” is one of the top five desired attributes that employers seek in employees, but many companies report that job applicants are often missing this experience.

While it’s fairly common knowledge that any type of internship experience is better than no experience, students often limit themselves to local opportunities which may not always provide the high level of professional training or the skills needed to navigate different cultures to compete against other recent graduates.

Gaining global aptitude requires students to leave their native country, experience foreign environments while gaining professional and cultural skills. Although the price of traveling and living on a new continent may be high, the return on investment can potentially be huge based on the very low number of students enrolling in such programs.
 

Why Go Global?

Students with internships are in demand. The National Associaton of Colleges and Employers reports that 73.7 percent of employers would prefer to hire candidates with relevant work experience. Students with global internship experience also have a higher chance of getting hired. 42.3 percent of students with an internship experience receive at least one job offer versus 30.7 percent of students without an internship. Lastly, students with global experience tend to make more money. Recent graduates that have interned generally have a higher salary by over 20 percent. (NACE 2015 Job Outlook Survey)
 

How to Find Opportunities

The task of finding and securing a global internship may seem daunting, but students have a plethora of resources available online. Organizations, such as Sage Corps, help place students in foreign countries with startups making an impact in their communities. Whether studying abroad during the semester or looking for a summer experience, Sage Corps supports top-level students on an on-going basis from admission through their professional experiences after returning home.

Our connectedness via technology and the internet have afforded today’s students the ability to easily access information about finding international opportunities. Now it’s up to them to take advantage of those opportunities and get ahead of the competition.

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A Summer Down Under: My Experience in Australia

This post was written by Sage Corps Fellow, Robert Durst, about his time in Australia.

Now back home, thousands of miles and an entire ocean stand between me and what was my home for the past eight weeks. Sitting at the kitchen table, I am in silent disbelief, scrolling through the hundreds of pictures on my computer from my internship in Australia. Back in a world of regularities, normalities, and a comfortable status quo, I cannot believe my Australian adventure is over. It seemed like only yesterday I was awkwardly exchanging words with a few of my future cohort members in the Sydney Airport. So much has changed in the last eight weeks. The final goodbyes at the Urbanest in South Sydney sounded like those of lifelong friends: goodbyes mixed with happiness, tears, and promises of “I will visit you soon.” But just what made this summer (winter) such an incredible experience? My Sage Corps experience can best be summed up in the following two stories.

 

How Small is a Startup?: My Professional Experience

Sage Corps meeting with Linley Scorgie - Orientation

Sage Corps meeting with Linley Scorgie - Orientation

Within forty-eight hours of landing in Sydney, I was sitting around a large oval table with my eleven other cohort members, Rachel Bernstein, and Linley Scorgie, General Manager of Tech Pilot Fund. Linley was presenting a powerpoint, teaching us the basics of venture capital in a board room on the 27th floor of a building with a sensational view of Circular Quay. Like most of my peers, the two main startups I knew were Facebook and Apple and, for all I knew, the reason for their success was magic. Venture capitalism was a completely new concept to me. After the hour-long meeting, I took in the basics, able to now adequately understand the terms seed funding and Series A and B.

Fast forward six weeks. As a computer science and math major I had spent the last six weeks developing an iOS mobile application, mirroring our already developed Android application for our technology-driven, delivery service startup, Delivery Rocket. Every day consisted of discussions with my two bosses — Brett Higgins, MD and Co-Founder, and Brandon Grenier, CTO and Co-Founder — whom I sat between every day, lunches with Brett, and many hours of coding. My role was usually well defined, but since we were a startup, I was sometimes asked to take on other roles. I often participated in business meetings with Brett and Brandon, one being on that particular day, six weeks after my arrival into Sydney.

3rd Floor Common Area Tank Stream Labs

3rd Floor Common Area Tank Stream Labs

On this day, like any other, I am in Tank Stream Labs, a workspace for startups and other companies, and in a meeting room with Brett and Brandon. I am sitting at one end of the table with a notepad out, Brandon is scratching his beard, deep in thought at the other end, and Brett is at the whiteboard, mapping out the future of Delivery Rocket. Eventually, Brandon proposes an idea. Half joking, half serious, he proposes, “why not search for funding in Silicon Valley? I read about an Australian company which raised a few million dollars there?” Laughing, Brett chimes in, “sure, we can add that to our plan,” scribbling on the whiteboard in black marker. I piped up, “I live there; I could definitely look into that.” For the most part, that idea stayed in the meeting room. But, I kept thinking about it from time to time throughout the next couple weeks. Occasionally, I would discuss the Silicon Valley funding idea with Brett, but it did not progress much past being an idea. On the last Thursday before leaving, I shared a table with Brett and Brandon at the Harbour View Hotel, celebrating my accomplishments and the end of the internship. It was a bright sunny day, and the fish and chips and Australian beer made for a fantastic last meal with Delivery Rocket. The topic of conversation jumped from wallaby encounters to Donald Trump. Eventually, I brought up the idea of me pitching and searching for funding in the United States. This time, we had a serious conversation, discussing our strategy, and establishing a meeting for discussion the next day.

Now back in Northern California, I have been in contact with a few local VC’s and startups in the area and have discussed the funding process and the differences between raising funding in America and raising funding in Australia. In a span of ten weeks, I have expanded my role within Delivery Rocket from simply front end coding to helping with funding. But more importantly, I have experienced first hand why people quit corporate and join the startup world. Taking part in business discussions about directional changes, working part time conducting important market research and working a majority of the time coding an application is not a typical corporate job description; it is exhilarating, stressful, exciting, and unique. Not working amidst the obstacles of bureaucracy is certainly also a nice perk.  In what would have been months of meetings, decks, research, and many levels of decisions, I asked my boss if I could take on a greater role with Delivery Rocket and look into a new direction for the company and he simply responded “sure, go see what happens.”

 

At the Top of Mt. Amos: My Exploration of Australia

Durst on top of a rock on Mt. Amos

Durst on top of a rock on Mt. Amos

Unreal. The only word that may describe the view on top of Mt. Amos. My most memorable Australian moment was not the koalas and kangaroos, the Sydney Swans, the Great Barrier Reef, Bondi Beach, the Harbor, or the Ivy. It was, undeniably, summiting Mt. Amos in Freycinet National Park in Tasmania with five other Sage Corps fellows.

   The hike up and down was an exhilarating three and a half hour round trip of scaling up slippery rock surfaces, navigating an unclear path, and encountering a few scary slips (I slipped down the side of a rock and nearly took Hannah Westervelt and Melanie Spencer with me). Nevertheless, it was all worth it. The pinnacle of the trip, literally at the top of the mountain, was one of the most sensational experiences of my life. The six of us sat in a circle, enjoying various combinations of peanut butter, Nutella, strawberry jelly, and bread while taking in the view. On top of a rock at the highest point of Mt. Amos, one could see all around himself/herself, 360 degrees of beautiful nature for miles on end. But it was not just the nature that was spectacular; it was the purity. The trees were perfectly green, the sandy beaches a pristine white, the water a clear blue, and the temperature, sixty degrees Fahrenheit and sunny. It felt like being in a photoshopped travel brochure. It was beautiful.

According to these travel brochures, I was supposed to end up on a crowded tour bus and witness packs of wallabies jumping through the Australian Outback. I was then supposed to board a boat and jump into the Pacific Ocean and watch the fish, sea turtles, and Great White Sharks of the Great Barrier Reef. Finally, I was supposed to enjoy a show at the world famous Opera House and take scenic pictures by the Harbor Bridge. I did most of that, but it did not define my Australian experience. Instead, we, Sage Corps Sydney, went off the beaten path. We explored the less popular Central Coast and the lesser known Freycinet National Park. These are the moments I enjoyed the most.

The difference between my internship experience, living abroad for eight weeks, and a two-week vacation can be summed up in two words “cultural immersion.”  Throughout my eight week internship, I met Brett’s family, Brett’s friends, picked up Australian slang, and discovered local food delicacies, like Oporto and Salt, Meat, Cheese. I also went to local sporting events, almost learned the rules of Aussie Rules Rugby, and memorized my walk to work through the CBD (Central Business District). From the work week to the weekend excursions, in a short eight weeks, I fell in love with Australia. All in all, working in the Sydney CBD, immersing myself in Australian culture, avoiding the tourist bus, meeting locals, and exploring the backroads of Australia was not simply incredible; it was unreal.

Left-to-right Pax Kaplan-Sherman, Robert Durst (me), Courtney Warren and Hannah Westervelt on top of  Mt. Amos

Left-to-right Pax Kaplan-Sherman, Robert Durst (me), Courtney Warren and Hannah Westervelt on top of  Mt. Amos

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+54: An Argentinian Escapade

This post was written by one of our Buenos Aires fellows, Claudia Willen.

Photo by author, Claudia Willen

Photo by author, Claudia Willen

“Con permiso, dónde está este andén?” I pointed to my ticket and asked for the third frantic time hoping to receive an answer other than, “entre seis y catorce". Because honestly, how can anyone guarantee catching the bus when the ticket tells you it might arrive at any of the nine different platforms? Maybe it’s an Argentinian thing.

As it goes, I found no such luck.

Dumbfounded and concerned about missing my ten hour bus ride to Córdoba to meet the rest of my coworkers for the weekend, I reached my peak gringa and managed to get on three wrong buses, hold up about two lines, and feel upwards of ten eyes watching the crazy blonde American chick single-handedly tear apart the Retiro bus station.

Give or take a sharp spike in my blood pressure and twenty-five anxious Whatsapp messages to my friends, I reclined back in my seat, closed my eyes, and asked myself how I, a twenty year old college student from Cleveland, Ohio, ended up alone on a bus in Argentina on her way to a meeting about a new business product.

***

I could tell you that this scenario wasn’t the norm during my Sage experience, that I was always comfortable and never alone, that I knew what I was doing most of the time, and that I always had a firm sense of guidance. But that’s not what Sage Corps is about, and that’s what made it the most transformative, life-changing two months I could have never foreseen.

If Sage Corps taught me one thing, it was to embrace the unknown and the unexpected. From day one, our fourteen person Buenos Aires cohort was thrown into inexplicable and, at times, absurd situations. Whether it be learning to share a bathroom with my three male roommates, discovering the hard way that the clubs are actually dead until 2:00 or 3:00 am, figuring out how to pay for fourteen dinners on one bill, or getting in rap battles with hysterical Argentinian teenagers, our Sage Corps family quickly found that this foreign city began to feel like our home.

I hesitate to make our time in Buenos Aires sound like a vacation, because it truly wasn’t. We worked, and we worked hard. Many of us took on professional roles that we didn’t have a background in and set goals we didn’t know if we could achieve in just two months. The late nights in the office, the mistakes we made while we learned, and the road bumps the startups faced while we worked there remain unseen on our Instagram profiles and Facebook albums but taught each and every one of us invaluable real world lessons. I can confidently say I was pushed harder and learned more about myself and my surroundings in these two months than in the entirety of my first two years of college.

The Sage Corps brochure guarantees that you will make an impact at your startup. It’s undoubtedly true. I can assure you that your work will be valued. However, the thing that Sage Corps doesn’t tell you is that working abroad, specifically, opens doors and knocks boundaries down not only for professional networking, but for forming lifelong relationships. If I hadn’t worked abroad at Winclap, I wouldn’t have met Mateo, my best friend and coworker that instantly clicked with. From having daily dance parties in the office to making a capricious decision to get matching piercings one day after work, I can’t imagine Argentina without him by my side.

So sure, at times I was the clueless gringa sprinting across nine different bus platforms making a fool of myself, but I don’t regret a second and would give anything to do it all again.

Besides, I always made the bus.

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An Argentinian Adventure: The Internship, The Country, and The Future

This post was written by Sage Corps Fellow, Dominique Lee

Author, Dominique Lee. 

Author, Dominique Lee. 

The Internship

I traveled around Europe the summer after my freshman year of college and it was amazing. Could any other summer experience measure up to those six weeks? I knew that I needed to take this summer more seriously and get an internship to be able to figure out my likes and dislikes within the field of Computer Science. So, I searched my school’s job listing platform for internships abroad because I just couldn’t give up my love of travel.

Sage Corps came up. After reading the site and learning more about the program, I saw that it was much more than just a study abroad program. Sage Corps had the selectivity component that I was searching for and thought would be a wonderful addition to my resume.

Fast forward a few months. My internship at Properati, an online platform for selling and renting houses, apartments and other buildings, was a great first experience in a professional setting. I worked in their development department specifically on blog posts--designing graphics and interactive maps that would be paired with a story. From the very beginning, I was thrown into projects and sometimes I had no idea where to start. Quickly I learned to use QGIS which is an open source platform for visualizing geographic data. I created maps using information from the Argentine and Mexican censuses about the percentage of apartments within each region of the country. It was very rewarding to see the maps that I made published on Properati’s website!

The first month of my internship was more structured. I was given projects the team thought would be fun and a meaningful learning opportunity. During my second month, I had more opportunities to collaborate with my bosses and come up with a new visualization that built on my previous work. One of the perks of working closely with all the members of a company is the ability to get input and feedback from each team member. Learning in a close-knit environment allows for so many opportunities to learn and ask questions.

The Country

By the end of my Sage Corps program, I will have lived in Argentina for eight months in total but at two different times. I am still surprised that the experiences were completely different. Landing in Buenos Aires was a very sentimental moment this time around. The first few weeks working and living in Buenos Aires were surreal. It was hard to recapture the feeling from my experience four years ago living in a small town of 20,000 with a host family. I did not really feel like I was back in Argentina.

Now I am an adult with a few years of college under my belt working in a tech startup. Then I was just 17. In addition, the culture of Buenos Aires is really different from the rest of Argentina. Buenos Aires and its province are home to almost a third of Argentina’s population and has its own culture, Porteño, and its own slang and dance, the Argentine tango. Around the office and city, I constantly hear words such as “chabon” (guy), “boludo” (friendly version of idiot or dummy), and “cheto” (delicious) being thrown around. During my first time in Argentina, for six months, I never heard these words. They’re completely unknown outside of Buenos Aires.

Buenos Aires truly is a city for night-owls. Around 10pm, the city comes alive with tourists, students, and locals enjoying each others’ company. Whether it be an after office with coworkers or a night out at a speakeasy and then “boliche” (club) with friends, there is never a dull moment or early night in Buenos Aires.

And the food! The meat is incredible, the Italian influence impeccable, and the dulce de leche superb. I could and did eat my way through Buenos Aires. But are the fish and vegetable options? When I went looking for a quick easy meal, it almost always was empanadas or a hamburger (surprisingly trendy burger joints are quite a big thing in Buenos Aires). There were definitely a few days where I missed California cuisine.

The Future

My advice to future Fellows is to seek adventure and embrace the unexpected. That’s when the best experiences happen. Whether the adventure is travelling around the country, exploring new parts of the city, or taking on a new project at work, there are always going to be aspects of it that are unexpected.

During the middle of my time in Argentina, I traveled with one of the other Fellows, Marissa, to Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, the southernmost city in the world. This trip did not go as planned. Our flight was cancelled and the ski slopes were not entirely open; however, we embraced these detours and turned our weekend into an unforgettable experience full of memories and new friends.

Being a part of Sage Corps means jumping into the unexpected and finding joy and learning opportunities everywhere. Any adventure whether professional or personal comes with its challenges and the unexpected should be something to be embraced rather than shied away from.

With the end of this summer, I am excited to begin a new round of applying for internships and seeing the ways in which my Sage Corps experience will open doors in my professional career. During the networking events this summer, I made contacts with locals in Buenos Aires and I’ll definitely stay in touch with them. I am not sure if I want to be back in Buenos Aires for another summer or in a new country, but I know that the international network that Sage Corps has helped me develop will be an instrumental tool in my job search. Being a part of Sage Corps and interning abroad will help me stand out amongst the masses when applying for jobs. I’ll happily tell potential employers about my ability to live abroad, adapt to a new culture, and work full-time. With Sage Corps on my resume, I can pursue opportunities on multiple continents and open doors I never knew were even there.

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Making my Mark in Australia: A Sage Corps Experience

Photo of author, Adam Rawot, by Monica Ting

Photo of author, Adam Rawot, by Monica Ting

One of our 2016 Sage Corps fellows, Adam Rawot, wrote the following blog about his experience as an intern in Sydney, Australia.


Accepting the offer to join Sage Corps felt like I was going into the deep end. Juggling a few traditional internships, and like most kids, paranoid about the career options after school, the idea of flying halfway around the world seemed insane. As I watched many of my close friends work for various Wall Street and Silicon Valley firms, I could feel myself stressing to remain competitive and unique amongst a sea of perpetually competitive peers. I probably couldn’t exactly place what pushed me through with it, whether it was the lingering wish I had studied abroad, the desire to find a unique resume item, or maybe just a hint of the unknown. Whatever possessed me, I signed on.

I’ve worked at small business and research groups before. I thought I was used to environments with rapidly changing projects, constant communication, and caffeine-induced sprints. I got my startup paired through the program, watched some online lectures to brush up, and hopped on the plane.

Day one on the job I knew I was in for a much different ride than I expected. I was paired with one other Sage Corps Fellow, Jake Miller, and we found the address of the office was completely different than what we were told in the information packet sent not two weeks earlier. The original building was torn down, and the office was now on the other side of the city. In addition to the geographic shift, we were moved from the original company we were supposed to work for to another established startup, Organic Search Technologies. Organic Search Technologies was a predominately search engine optimization and reputation management company. This would have been bizarre enough for a work shift, but Organic Search Technology was in the midst of consulting a new product launch, a new cellphone contacts book app.

Pretty quickly, I realized there was a big difference between working for a startup and functionally starting a new one. The product competencies and requirements seemed to change almost hourly, with sketches constantly being erased and thrown out, coffees and Red Bulls consumed, and the lingering thrill of the hunt that the next iteration would be ‘the one.’ The app lasted a roller coaster week and a half before being scraped altogether, leaving my fellow Sage Corps Fellow and me feeling stranded and a little frustrated. We spent at most a few hours working on some company upkeep for our original startup before we felt things start picking up again.

Our boss, Dave Dinh, at Organic Search Technologies was closely involved with a second startup called Dave’s Deals. Dave’s Deals, through some supply chain hacks and innovations, had found ways to sell and distribute children’s books at a fraction of market rates. The service seemed like an easy sell but suffered from a lack of exposure and online presence. For two technically-educated interns, it seemed like a pretty ideal job.

There was a lot to be learned from the challenge itself. A lot of work went into the data analysis, creating customer profiles, finding out who to target and retarget, and what customers stayed loyal. We found ourselves bouncing between coding frameworks we had only vague familiarities with, analyzing industries we had never heard of and learning about system and operational processes in companies I would never have known existed.

Probably even more interesting than the work itself were the people. Jake and I had managed to work for or with four different companies in about as many weeks. We found ourselves all over Sydney, from the Central Business District to meetups in industrial coffee shops in the middle of nowhere. And through all of this change, the people were even more different. We found ourselves connected with a variety of developers, designers, and entrepreneurs, augmenting the already large network of people Sage Corps introduced us to in orientation and beyond. I was having a meaningful conversation with a startup founder or freelance developer once or twice a day, and if anything, it only showed signs of accelerating as the time went on.

Sydney itself uniquely lent itself to this kind of experience. The startup culture in Australia felt like a startup – an amorphous group of companies without a distinct culture or centralized point yet. There were co-working spaces and meet-ups like anywhere else, but as Jake and I worked with launching products, we felt like we were figuring things out just as fast as the Australian market was. It felt like being in a snapshot of Silicon Valley 5 years prior – not because the ideas weren’t any more or less innovative, but because the idea of ‘startup hub’ in Sydney still felt so novel.

People were incredibly friendly; they wanted to talk about ideas, and, in a generic, sappy way, just seemed so much nicer. We cold-emailed senior developers at companies like Atlassian and AMP and got meaningful responses every time. Maybe people weren’t building the next unicorn product, but people sure liked the thrill of talking about whatever it was they were doing. It only inspired us to go bolder and bolder with the people we reached out to. The first networking event was awkward, but by the end, we were lining up meetings with a seasoned proficiency.

There was a pretty distinct moment when we were most of the way through Australia where Jake and I were sitting on a train between meetings. We had coffee with someone at lunch to talk about our company and were heading to the other side of Sydney to meet with someone else—it was going to be our fifth train in two hours. In a situation I realize would have been likely stressful in an internship back in the states, we found no other way to describe it than the startup ‘buzz’—a sort of high you got when you felt like everything was moving fast and changing faster than you could ever keep up. Even if it sounded like it should have been stressful, we loved it. It didn’t feel so much like work when we felt like we were in the hunt of the next good idea.

We were working some weird hours, the expectations were high, and our career expectations of ourselves were higher still. But around that time something clicked, and we got so much clarity into why this was all happening. Maybe the companies we worked for wouldn’t exist in a few years, but at least the ideas we offered were our own. We were helping steer these companies and products. If being able to walk 5 minutes to a beach hadn’t convinced me Australia was the right place to work, feeling like I had made a meaningful impact in a couple of companies cemented it.

I don’t have the distance from the program to make any sweeping statements that it was ‘life changing’ or ‘the best thing I have ever done for my career.’ But what I can say is that I learned a lot about myself. I felt like I was putting a lot on hold when I left the States to intern abroad. Australia taught me a lot about the connections I had with people, the things I was passionate about, and, most importantly, my attitude towards these situations. I started the program with a question mark, and while I’m certainly not leaving with all of the answers, I can say I am leaving with a lot of new information.

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What It Means To Be "Saging in Singapore" AND Why You Should Care

What does it really mean to be "Saging in Singapore?" According to this the Singapore Fellow's posts on social media thus far, it means:

  • Picture 1: Repping Maize & Blue with some new friends
  • Picture 2: Taking a lunch break and heading over to LinkedIn
  • Picture 3: Visiting BASH - Singapore’s largest startup space
  • Picture 4: Posing with the Sage Corps squad...and this seal

Dare I continue?

As you can see, Sage Corps' 2nd generation of Singapore Fellows is already off to a great start. And as they take the summer to explore this progressive (and beautiful) island, you're probably asking yourself "why should I even care?"

Here's why: The 13 Fellows you see listed below are an inspiration to anyone who has ever thought about coloring outside the lines, both personally and professionally. Fellows like Santiago Fajer Botaya and Chelsea Chen are not afraid to push their limits and take on an internship in another country. And Fellows like Mary Brown and Nirmal Patel? Well, they saw that working at a startup meant being given more creative opportunities in the way they learn, work and innovate. Every Fellow you see below had a vision and now they are living it.

So there you have it, folks - this is what it means to be "Saging in Singapore."

(Mic drop).

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Sage Corps Flexes in Chilecon Valley & Things Are Looking (real) Good

Sage Corps Fellows and their awesome orientation leader, Maggie Edmunds, on the rooftop of Startup Chile 

Sage Corps Fellows and their awesome orientation leader, Maggie Edmunds, on the rooftop of Startup Chile 

Sage Corps is holding nothing back this summer as it sends double the number of Fellows abroad (96 Fellows total!) AND opens not 1 but 3 new program locations around the world.

Today's program-spotlight: Santiago, Chile.

In the last 6 years, Santiago has adopted a new (catchy) nickname: "Chilecon Valley." Why? Well, besides being situated in an actual valley, Santiago, Chile is also known by global entrepreneurs as a hot spot to kick-start their business. In 2010, a government-backed program known as Startup Chile launched, where foreigners can receive $40,000 and a "six-month stay, plus free office space and guidance--so long as participants agree to mentor their Chilean peers." It was, therefore, a no-brainer when Sage Corps decided it was time to set-up-shop in this startup haven. (And who wouldn't want to spend 8 weeks surrounded by a beautiful ocean coast and the snow-capped Andes?)

Sage Corps Fellows celebrating after Chile won the Copa America tournament

Sage Corps Fellows celebrating after Chile won the Copa America tournament

On June 16, twelve courageous students touched down and declared their title as Sage Corps' first Santiago Cohort. The first two days on Chilean soil were spent exploring Santiago's incredible city and what it has to offer as a startup machine. Orientation leader and Sage Corps Alumna, Maggie Edmunds, brought the Fellows to visit top Chilean startups like Cumplo and sit down to chat with Uber Chile Marketing Manager, Domingo Meneses! The group capped off the two day immersive orientation eating lunch with Startup Chile's most recent generation of entrepreneurs and then got to tour the innovative space!

Since their first day, the Fellows have gotten to visit Valparaiso, sip some of the best wine (and pisco) in the world AND witness Chile win Copa America 2 years in a row. And that was just the first week...

Can't wait to see what weeks 2-8 have to offer for this lucky crew!

CHI CHI CHI! LE LE LE! VIVA CHILE!

 

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It's Happening: Sage Corps Is Heading To Sydney!

Have a Bucket List? We do! In fact, we're about to check one item off the list:

Send a Sage Corps Cohort to one of the most beautiful cities in the world - Sydney, Austraila.

Starting June 13, 12 (incredibly) talented Fellows will storm Sydney's startup scene (and its white-sand beaches) to discover what it means to be an entrepreneur in the land of Oz. They will get the unique opportunity to visit co-working spaces like Tank Stream Labs located in the heart of Sydney's CBD and attend networking events at high-growth incubators like BlueChilli. And when they're not shaking hands with Sydney's rising entrepreneurs and business leaders? Well, they'll be swimming and surfing at Bondi Beach, flying to Cottage Point for lunch and checking out the Sydney Harbor Bridge (which, by the way, you can climb!)

So, who are these lucky Fellows?
They are ambitious students who were selected from top universities such as Colgate, Columbia, UPenn, Rice, UNC, UChicago, Swarthmore, BU, Brown and Colby! These 12 Fellows don't only hold the hard skills acquired from their demanding and diverse areas of study (see infographic) but equally (if not more) own the soft skills needed when working in a fast-paced startup environment:

  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Flexibility
  • Patience
  • Time Management

Without further adieu, we are excited to introduce you to the first generation of Sage Corps' Sydney Program!

sydney summer 2016.png

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Why Interning At A Startup Will Land You Your Dream Job (+ Meet The Summer '16 London Cohort)

Last August, we caught up with Sage Corps Alum, Laura Walker, and asked her what her biggest take-away was living in London and interning at Reedsy.

"My biggest takeaway? Being able to have an abroad experience different from anything I could've had through my university. It would've been just as exciting, but not nearly as rewarding professionally."

So what exactly was Laura referring to that sets Sage Corps' experience apart from your typical university-bred abroad program?

"Impactful work experience," says Sage Corps' Program Director, Rachel Bernstein. She goes on to say, "There's something very different about interning at a startup, amongst entrepreneurs, while abroad. And it adds an additional layer that potential employers recognize."

Rachel's right and Sage Corps Alum, Maggie Edmunds proves it:

When I got back from my Sage Corps experience, I stood out applying for full time jobs in consulting. The people I was competing with for the jobs had interesting summer internships too, but working for a tech startup abroad was super interesting to everyone that I interviewed with. I am not kidding when I say that I talked about Sage Corps in EVERY. SINGLE. INTERVIEW.
— Sage Corps Alum, Maggie Edmunds (Rice University '16)

Check-mate! Sage Corps' mission really does work!! (You can't see them, but Sage Corps' Team is doing a little "happy dance" right now).

It is with that same excitement and joy that we introduce to you Sage Corps' Summer '16 London Cohort! Congrats to the 10 Fellows below who will be making memories, building resumes, and nailing future interviews! Cheers!

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Meet the Summer '16 Dublin Cohort

You know that feeling when you want something really bad, you work hard to get it and then, one day...YOU DO!? That's exactly how Sage Corps Fellow and Schuler Scholar, Alaina Toatley, felt when she found out she became a Sage Corps Fellow and was heading to Dublin this summer.

I worked really hard on my application, and it felt great to finally have some of that work pay off, so I was beyond excited! I can see that each person in the Sage Corps community is really going places and Im grateful to get to become part of that.
— Alaina Toatley, Vassar College

In June, Alaina will meet 9 additional Fellows who were also carefully selected to be a part of this summer's Dublin Cohort (meet everyone below!) Their journey will start with a 2 day orientation gaining the skills needed to work at a startup (Hint: Stanford d.school’s Virtual Crash Course in design thinking). They will also get the rare oportunity to experience, first hand, Dublin's booming startup ecosystem - visiting host startups AND incubators, meeting Dublin's rising entrepreneurs as well as a guest appearance from Sage Corps alum, Sageanne Senneff! Not convinced yet that global experience is transformational? Try this #SageCorpsStory on for size:

Sageanne went to Dublin last summer, pitched her start-up idea at Google Start Up Weekend and stayed in Dublin after the summer to participate in an entrepreneurship program. And she's still there!

[You might also like our guest blog "What If we Gave Education an Entrepreneurial Facelift?" via Virgin Disruptors]

We can't wait to see what other inspiring stories come out of this summer's Dublin Cohort (and who knows - maybe one day our alums will be hosting future Fellows at their global startup!)

here they are: Sage Corps' summer '16 dublin cohort

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Next Up: The Summer '16 Hong Kong Cohort

Sage Corps preseason is in full swing with over 95 Fellows taping their ankles and prepping to attend the Summer 2016 Global Cohort (stay tuned for a full report on the entire Cohort soon). Last week, The Buenos Aires Cohort represented and this week we turn our attention to the Hong Kong Cohort who is holding NOTHING back as they get ready to kick-off #SageCorpsHK2016!

Didn't think of Hong Kong as the "Silicon Valley" type? Good - because it's not. It has something much more unique to offer and our Fellows are about to reap the unique rewards. According to the 2015 Global Startup Ecosystem Report powered by Compass, Hong Kong stands out "as one of the most important international financial centers in the world" and thrives off its proximity to mama bear, mainland China. Needless to say, this combination makes for healthy startup growth.

Ok, so now you know the answer to "Why Hong Kong?" but "Why Sage Corps...in Hong Kong?" Here's a word from one of the 8 Fellows joining the Hong Kong Cohort, U of Leeds student, Milette Tseelon-Riis:

"I spent two months in China in 2013, and it was one of the best things I have ever done. I, therefore, wanted to experience living and working in Hong Kong. I chose Sage Corps because they seemed like the most competent, professional entrepreneurship programme out there, and because the internships with Sage Corps are not typical 9-5 jobs -

I believe that being successful means taking initiative, challenging yourself, and going out of your comfort zone, which is why I am excited to be a part of this experience.
— Hong Kong Fellow, Milette Tseelon-Riis

Well, there you have it, folks. Here's a look at the entire Hong Kong Cohort! 

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