It wasn’t that long ago that biometric scanners for fingerprints, retinas, and facial recognition were reserved for superheroes and spies. But IDmission, a 200-person tech startup, gives businesses a new way to safely and securely verify identities with a device you’re probably already carrying: your smartphone.
IDmission CEO Ashim Banerjee P’21 founded the company in 2011 and now it has offices in Colorado, Mexico, and India. Last spring, as he looked to the next decade of growth for the business—especially as so many companies were pivoting to remote work—he knew he needed top talent. He also knew exactly what he was looking for.
“A willingness to learn, the ability to communicate well, and confidence to ask questions,” Bannerjee said. “And Colby teaches its students all of those things.”
Historically, IDmission didn’t hire entry level positions—but Banerjee decided to give Colby graduates a try, participating in DavisConnects to build out his customer success team.
His first open position went to Radhika Vu Thanh Vy ’20, who spent months of the pandemic in a never-ending job search. She wanted to combine her English and economics majors into a marketing role. But with COVID-19 changing business models almost overnight, she found herself in a frustrating cycle of dead ends from final-round interviews and rescinded job offers.
Pay It Northward connected her with Banerjee, who was so impressed with her performance in just a few short months that he opened a second position in the fall.
That went to Senior Class President Kevin Muñoz ’20, who applied to hundreds of job openings over the course of his spring semester. An East Asian studies and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies double major, it wasn’t until his junior semester abroad in Eastern Europe that he realized the technology industry fascinated him. But he struggled to show potential employers the connection between his liberal arts background and his skill set.
“When the offer at IDmission finally came through, I was shocked,” Muñoz said. “There was this burden off my shoulders, since the job search had consumed me and everything was so uncertain with COVID-19. I was so happy that someone was willing to take a chance on me.”
Both Vy and Muñoz now serve on the customer success team, working with clients from around the globe.
“It never occurred to me that something like account management would be something I would thrive in and enjoy so much,” Vy said. “I feel so empowered in this role in terms of my potential and playing to my strengths. It’s completely changed how I see myself and my career trajectory.”
Banerjee is so impressed that he’s opened up several more entry-level roles—and he’s hoping recent Colby graduates will fill them. “I’m a strong believer in the tradition of the liberal arts,” he said, “because it gives you a better foundation and the ability to learn, especially in an industry like technology where it’s changing every few years.”
And Pay It Northward? Banerjee gave the program high marks as well. “I thought it was a brilliant initiative from Colby to help students navigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. “It speaks to the quality of the Colby education.”
Pay It Northward and Davis Connects
Pay it Northward, overseen by DavisConnects, is the Colby campaign to provide postgraduate opportunities to the Class of 2020. Last year’s graduates entered a job market profoundly impacted by COVID-19. Hiring freezes, withdrawal of jobs and fellowships—all of this threatens to derail graduates’ careers and keep them out of the workforce when the world needs their talents most.
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