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Handshake student stories

Friends Help Friends Get Jobs

Big Congrats to Mary Thomas of Rhodes College & Sydney Shelby of The University of Tennessee-Knoxville, the winners of Handshake’s $20k Referrals Scholarship!

“I was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee right down the street from Sydney! We have been best friends since elementary school and I cannot imagine anyone more deserving of this scholarship.”

Mary ThomasReferrer of Sydney Shelby, winner of the 2018 Handshake Referrals Scholarship

You help your friends with everything – from shoe tying to math homework to relationship advice – so why not with building a career?

Meet Mary, the referrer.

A sophomore at Rhodes College, Mary went beyond the edges of her campus and brought Handshake to her childhood friend Sydney, a Sophomore at The University of Tennessee-Knoxville, 400 miles away.

Mary told us: “even thinking about getting a job is often times overwhelming,” so she wanted to share Handshake, a platform that she is thankful for in helping her with this sometimes intimidating process, with her friends and peers.

“I have many supportive friends who mean a lot to me. I want all of us to be successful in our educational careers – as well as after.”

Meet Sydney, the referred.

Sydney, thanks to her friend Mary, just started using Handshake, and she is excited about all of the opportunities to connect with employers.

“The future is a mystery to me. I know coding is one of my passions among many others. Although I don't know exactly where I'm going, I'm looking for a career that I'm passionate about.”

With Handshake, Sydney is finding internship opportunities with ease – which gives her the flexibility to explore those passions, making the future a little bit less mysterious.

Mary & Sydney go way back!

The job process doesn’t have to be done in a silo. Find guidance from your peers, your mentors, your campus career centers, your friends – take advantage of your community! The Handshake network spans far and wide, beyond the borders of your campus. Leverage the power of 14 million+ students sharing knowledge, experiences, and advice on everything from what to wear to an interview to how to connect with a senior manager during an internship.

Employers are looking to connect with all college students on Handshake. Make sure you (and your friends!) are set up for success by maintaining an up-to-date Handshake profile.

About the Scholarship

At Handshake, we have a mantra: Students First. Everything we do, we start by asking - is this helping more students build careers?

If the answer is yes, we do everything in our power to make it happen. And one thing we’ve found to be of vital importance to the success of all students during their campus to career journey is easy and equal access to the right information.

For example students like Danny Franklin, a first generation student from a rural community, might not have the same access to information about careers in business or tech as a student from Suburban New York with executive parents.

We believe that bringing as many students together into one safe, committed community to share knowledge, experiences, and information with each other is a first step to minimizing this inequity. This is why we wanted to get students excited about referring each other to join the network - hence why we started the referrals scholarship. The more students on Handshake, the more that access to information and opportunity is democratized!

Find the right jobs for you. Get hired.