We recently met Matt Guruge, CEO, and Co-Founder of Awato, an online service that helps students identify career paths that match their interests and leverage their strengths in a fun and engaging way. Awato also provides students with a detailed map of the steps, time, cost and outcomes of different career path options.
What really sparked our interest though, was Matt’s personal story of how and why he co-founded AWATO. It’s a story that speaks the benefits of participating in career exploration before making choices about post-secondary education.
Check out Matt’s story below and his offer for students to use Awato free of charge this summer before it’s fee-based launch in the fall of 2018.
My Path to Awato
By Matthew Guruge, CEO, and Co-Founder of Awato
Three years ago, I co-founded Awato, because the biggest problem I had in my life, was not knowing what to do with it.
Growing up, I thought I wanted to be a lawyer. I loved to debate, and nothing intrigued me more than the thought of arguing cases in courtrooms. I was sure that my love for creative problem solving and oral presentations meant that a legal profession would be the perfect fit for me.
I attended a small liberal arts college in Norton, Massachusetts called Wheaton. I majored in English and pursued the pre-law track. As the end of my junior year drew near, it began to dawn on me: I didn’t enjoy spending countless hours in the library reading and researching. I didn’t want to spend my life doing paperwork. I didn’t want to keep preparing for a career that I was afraid I’d hate.
Why did it take me so long to come to this realization?
I had a good idea of what I liked, but I did not have a clear understanding of what lawyers do on a daily basis. So that summer, I put my English major to use when I took an internship at the New Hampshire Business Review as a print journalist. Unfortunately, reporting wasn’t my calling either.
By a stroke of luck, I was offered a marketing opportunity by a technology startup I interviewed for an article I was writing. As I worked with the startup, I found that the creative problem solving and communication pieces I had been looking for in law, existed in entrepreneurship. It also occurred to me that no one ever sat me down, showed me a profile of myself and what careers might be a match for me.
With this in mind, I convened a team of incredibly talented people that wanted to see all students have the opportunity to discover more about themselves and the careers paths that aligned with their talents and interests to make informed decisions about their future.
The result was Awato – A way to engage students and begin building the career paths that are right for them in an ever-changing career landscape.
In just under 18 minutes, the Awato platform can learn and analyze 400 data points that match students with careers they’d love and education paths they should pursue – and the best part is, it’s fun!
Colleges and schools currently use Awato to help their students determine what education programs and careers would be a good fit for them. Many colleges embed Awato as an activity in a freshman course to ensure students are aligned with their academic focuses and that those focuses are tied to careers they’re interested in.
As we worked with colleges across the country, we found one thing to be true: assessments aren’t enough. What people need is deeper and more complex than a career and education recommendation. They need a plan that shows the steps, the time, the process, the cost and the outcomes of different options.
The right career was only a starting point. People required an individual academic and career plan to reach the best goal for them. They wanted to be able to see these different plans and compare them as you would if you were shopping for something online.
This Fall, Awato will become the solution to find, compare and follow your career plan. Whether it saves you money on tuition, decreases your time in university or gets you into the job you’ve been dying for, we’re certain that having these pathways will help people take their next step.
We invite you to try it out for yourself at awato.io and let us know what you think!