Ottawa-based start-up, GenM, serves as silver lining for post-grads

If you’ve been searching for a job for any serious amount of time, then you understand how difficult a process it is. Recent graduates often feel helpless when applying to jobs, falling victim to the irony that in order to get a job you need experience, but to get experience you need a job. What if I told you, that you can find the experience you need – and without much of the frustration?

Founded by friends Richard Shaw, Marco D. Tundo, Davide Panzeri and Moe Abbas, GenM provides free training to anyone wishing to pursue a career in digital marketing. Through 12 free online PowerPoint-style courses created by industry experts, students will learn the ins and outs of social media marketing, content marketing, email advertising and analytics, and so much more!

If you're wondering what sets GenM a part from post-secondary institutions the answer is two-fold. First, GenM is cost-free and offers real-life work experience. Students have the ability to accept interviews with vetted companies and decide on what will help them further their careers. And they can do so all while completing their college or university degree. 

Second, creating their resume and networking with business owners allows students to get an accurate look at the process of applying for jobs and talking with potential employers. GenM simultaneously connects students with business owners to provide them the opportunity gain 3-months of work experience, as well as receive regular guidance and feedback from industry professionals.

Since their inception in September 2017, more than 30,000 students and 5,000 businesses have joined GenM. On the heels of their Dragon’s Den audition (air date TBD), we spoke with GenM's Marketing Associate, Darcy Cudmore, about the job market, the importance of marketing and GenM’s future.

Ottawa Life Magazine: How was the idea for GenM conceived?

Darcy Cudmore: In his first significant business, Ottawa General Contractors, Moe Abbas, and a few friends were working in a basement office. They needed to grow their businesses but didn’t have any money so they decided to open a student internship position for those looking to gain valuable work experience. Over 200 applicants applied, all with the same story: they needed work experience.

After some investigation, Richard and Moe found that 56% of graduates are underemployed, and 73% are employed outside their field of studies. They asked themselves: “what if other businesses can train students for the job market? What would the world look like then?”

The answer to that was a global, scale-free education system. A place where students are trained by industry for industry, faster than traditional education and for zero cost. They decided to build that future along with Marco Tundo and Davide Panzeri.

Why do you think your service is so attractive to millennials, or young, upcoming professionals?

GenM students complete courses and apprenticeships remotely. This allows them to continue with their other studies and activities (maybe even working) while still using GenM effectively.

For those who might need to access GenM while on the run, the GenM app allows you to find the best apprenticeship or take some courses whenever you want!

Is there one student/business success story, in particular, you’d like to highlight?

Amanda Menke’s story is a good one. Amanda was attending SNHU while completing additional courses and an apprenticeship on GenM. Following her apprenticeship, she landed a part-time job and is well on her way to landing her dream job!

We wrote all about Amanda’s journey with GenM here.

What are the company’s goals for the future?

To create a global scale-free education where students are trained by industry for industry, faster than traditional education and for zero cost.

What’s the greatest piece of advice you can give to a young entrepreneur?

The greatest piece of advice comes from GenM co-founder, Moe Abbas, who said, "Half the battle is showing up, the other half is finishing."

Where can we go to learn more about GenM?

To learn more about us visit our website here or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!