Published by Angela Zerda/Article written by Carlos Dinkins
A year ago, then first-year MBA Carlos Dinkins, wrote an article about his MBA+ project experience with Silicon Valley startup Identified.com. Now, as a second-year student, Carlos follows up with us on the continued growth and excitement from his MBA+ project experience as he watches the company grow from a ‘relatively unknown startup’ to an online vehicle that’s shaking up the social networking world…
MBA+ 1: Catching up with my MBA+ Project Identified.com a Year Later
By Carlos Dinkins, McCombs MBA Candidate C/O ‘12
“How do you measure a year?” First and foremost I want to apologize if that quote just made you start humming the title song to Rent because it happened to me when I starting penning this. But how do you measure a year in your MBA program? For me, those five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes are measured by the impact I have on my class, my friends, my family, my school, my professional network, but more importantly the impact they have on me. As I jog my memory back a year ago to a guest blog I wrote on my MBA+ Project, I take great pride in acknowledging a group of individuals from a small Internet start-up company in Palo Alto that has had a tremendously positive professional and personal impact on me.
“For a career switcher like myself, my LinkedIn network of combat hardened veterans just hasn’t created the types of leads that I was hoping to find in the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry !”
– Carlos Dinkins – October 25th 2010
That excerpt from last year draws on the market pain I was looking to assuage with my MBA+ Project. From transitioning out the Army to the civilian sector I wanted to leverage the leadership of my combat veteran network for a career in the CPG community. My best friend, prior Army Captain and Stanford MBA graduate Nick Padlo, connected me with two brilliant entrepreneurs out of his Stanford MBA class, Brendan Wallace and Adeyemi Ajao, who had the answer to said pain. They created Identified.com; a revolutionary Internet start-up that utilized a proprietary algorithm to match the professional aspects (school, work history, and networks) of your Facebook with prestigious companies interested in full-time and part-time candidates, and launched the beta version just prior to the start of my MBA+ Project. With the help of my classmates Cassandra Stoklosa, Guilherme Sessa, and Rohan Singal, our MBA+ team tackled the challenge of building user acquisition and increasing platform usage on the University of Texas at Austin. It was a highly demanding, time-consuming project, and frankly there weren’t any standard operating procedures for our MBA+ team. While other classmates were micro consulting for mature Fortune 500 companies we were in the trenches with a new, relatively unknown start-up. At the end of our project however we all knew it was worth every single second and believed in the potential of this new “LinkedIn” killer. We accomplished our goals on campus, were able to fly to Boston to help Identified.com target Boston College, and were able to truly engulf ourselves in the tactical and strategic aspects of an Internet start-up.
So “How do you measure a year?” The benefit from working with Identified.com is more than just the fact that nearly a 1,000 UT Longhorns signed up and that Identified.com personally extended summer internships to some fellow classmates; from a personal aspect I gained two new friends in Brendan Wallace and Adeyemi Ajao. I was able to travel with them to Spain for vacation and they stay in constant contact with me providing mentorship and guidance as I finish the 2nd year of my MBA. But more importantly I, along with Cass, Gui, and Rohan, get to see this amazing start-up grow to the point where they are highlighted as a breakthrough technology company in Forbes, TechCrunch, Fastcompany, Bloomberg, and as seen below in the Washington Post. With over $5.5 Million raised from investors such as Eric Schmidt, Google Chairman & former CEO, and a post-money valuation of $50 Million, I am positive that Identified.com is about to shake up the social networking world!
“Our personal long-term goal is that handshake, that email, that smile, that moment of gratitude when a classmate tells us that they received their internship or full-time hire through Identified.com.”
– Carlos Dinkins – October 25th 2010
So “How do you measure a year?” After witnessing the success of Identified.com and knowing that my McCombs MBA+ Project had a hand in that success, you could measure it by the glowing smile on my face! Hook Em’ Horns!
Carlos L. Dinkins