Reserve Pitch idea gains momentum

It started with an idea that turned the concept of a student career fair on its head. Not long after the Prosper Lincoln community agenda was announced, Rich Claussen, the Ambassador for the Innovation and Entrepreneurship focus area, went to work building an event that would gather students together to hear from local businesses about their tech internships and careers.

The third Reverse Pitch event is happening Tuesday, September 18, 2018 at 5 p.m. in the Nebraska Innovation Campus auditorium. The University of Nebraska’s Department of Computer Science in the College of Engineering is now the lead planner and official host for the event.

Rather than hopping from booth to booth to talk briefly with recruiters, students will get to hear 13 hiring Lincoln companies give 5-minute presentations about who they are, what they do, how they do it and why young people love to work with them. After all the presentations, students can chat one-on-one with representatives from the companies they’re interested in while enjoying some free pizza. Participating companies this year include: Hudl, Spreetail, Opendorse, Q2, Mutual of Omaha, Talent Plus, Firespring, Nelnet, Ameritas, Assurity, Pen-Link, Don’t Panic Labs, and Sandhills Publishing.

“At any given time, there are 200-300+ tech jobs open in the city. At the same time there is a lack of awareness for the opportunities young talents have to begin their careers – right here in Lincoln,” Claussen said. “Events like the Reverse Pitch are helping to fill internships and jobs. And the idea is catching on with other colleges and universities in the regional ecosystem. Students from a number of schools will attend these pitches and additional events are being planned for other career fields as well.”

To follow-up the Reverse Pitch a half dozen site visit events will be hosted by the companies that allow the students to take a deeper dive into the organizations and the internships/jobs they have available.

“Last Spring we took this on the road to Iowa State University,” Claussen added. ”It was pretty cool to see our companies unified as one, selling opportunities in their city, our city to kids from another school. We know we can’t simply hope to keep all of the talent in our local colleges and universities. We must also attract talent from the region and the rest of the country. This is a start. We think this is the start of something that will make a difference – a big difference.”