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Team Handshake

How a Career Change Became a Calling

Why Eddie Tavarez, Enterprise Account Executive, went from building software to selling at Handshake.

Sometimes you have to take a leap and hope a net appears. On the day I quit my previous job, I was shocked when I got a call from someone offering me a dream project — a chance to build a software solution. Without hesitation, I said yes.

But things don’t always turned out as planned. After four months of work, the customer told me they had lost funding and weren’t going to be able to pay me. I was devastated. I had burned through my savings and had no way to capitalize on my work.

After losing my first and only customer, I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to join a software company and learn what it takes to sell the software I wanted to build.

When I applied to work at Handshake, it was an unknown, thirty-person company. But I recognized the incredible potential of the mission, and I knew this was where I would grow the most.

My plan wasn’t to stay long. I told myself that in a year, I could leave with great experience and enough money to finish building my software project. But, as I’ve said, things don’t always go as planned. In January, I will be celebrating three and a half years at Handshake.

So why have I stayed? The two main reasons are empathy and a culture of impact.

Sales team in NYC

Empathy is the feeling of being understood and guided

Navigating your career, whether you are a mid-career professional or a college student, isn’t easy. The leadership at Handshake has always been there to guide me and help me grow, persevere, and feel understood. The fact that the product itself is that same trusted guide for millions of students from all backgrounds, is remarkable.

A culture of impact requires big thinking

I’ve been on two sales teams at Handshake, both of which have always set large goals to make the most impact. As a member of our university sales team, I saw our university partnerships grow from 160 to 700 in under two years — and we continue to grow! Every school on Handshake means more access to opportunity and more information for students to navigate their college to career journey.

As a member of our employer sales team, I’ve seen our team grow from three people to fifty in just two years. We’ve consistently exceeded our sales goals, and have experienced remarkable growth during my time here. We get to work with some of the most recognized companies in the world, and every employer we partner with equals more opportunities for students on Handshake and more diversity in the workplace.

These past three and a half years have been some of the most memorable of my life. I’ve made amazing friends, and have grown both professionally and personally. It's also been much more lucrative than building my own software program! I’m so grateful for my time at Handshake, and I can’t wait to see what the next three years hold.

Want to learn more about sales at Handshake? Visit our career page to see current openings.

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