Need a job? UIC senior turns rejection into a startup

By Hannah Gebresilassie

Rejection was the inspiration behind a new startup.

After getting turned down by over 50 employers, Thomas Ma had enough and created Career Podium.

Career Podium is an interactive platform designed to help students successfully land internships and jobs. Ma, 22, is a senior at the University of Illinois at Chicago  set to graduate in May 2016.

“I was turned down so many times and started to feel bad about myself,” Ma says. “So, I don’t want students to go through that process.”

Thomas Ma, founder of Career Podium, shares his experiences of applying for jobs and getting turned down over 50 times. (Hannah Gebresilassie/MEDILL)

“If students are involved on campus and engaged, they make better employees,” says Savannah Hill, IGS Energy recruiter and branch coordinator.

UIC  celebrates its twenty-third National Student Employment Week by providing resources for career development and recognizing student workers.

Photo at top: Informational sheets on finding a job sit readily available for students during National Student Employment Week at UIC. (Hannah Gebresilassie/MEDILL)