Overheard

ASU+GSV Summit 2021: Christine Cruzvergara on democratizing opportunity

Education and tech leaders gather to share innovative ideas about what's ahead
By Laura Aka
August 10, 2021

“Handshake is the largest early career network helping over 8 million students jumpstart and launch their careers,” explains Christine Cruzvergara, chief education strategy officer of Handshake.

“We serve students all over the U.S. and the UK. We partner with over 1200 universities and colleges to help connect their students to over 550,000 employers on our network.”

She continues, “We have all types of employers from all different industries and all different sectors. We have a 100% of all the Fortune 500 companies on Handshake, but we also have mid-sized companies, local companies, mom and pop shops. Employers are able to find students from everywhere and students, in turn, are able to actually find employers regardless of what their interest is.”

Cruzvergara explains that the virtual nature of the platform allows students to build social capital and often land internships and first jobs.

The platform has opened up the hiring being done by Handshake’s employer partners, according to Cruzvergara. “We’ve been really fortunate in working with our employers, helping them to understand that by building a virtual strategy, they’re actually able to be school agnostic. They no longer need to just go to the schools that perhaps they went to, or their CEO or exec team went to, but rather they can recognize that talent is distributed evenly, even though opportunity isn’t.”

“What we’re really trying to solve is how do we democratize opportunity? How do we get those opportunities out to more students? And how do we help employers ultimately find better talent—because talent is not just concentrated at those few particular schools.”

Click here to learn more about Handshake.

WorkingNation—a collaborating partner of the ASU+GSV Summit—sat down with Cruzvergara in San Diego as part of our #WorkingNationOverheard social media series.

Hear from more innovators in education and tech in the public, private, and nonprofit spheres attending the ASU+GSV Summit 2021 here.

Follow the conversation on social media: #asugsvsummit #workingnationoverheard