skills gap, prosky happy hour, collin gutman interview, SXSW
Interviews / 14 December 2016
ProSky Happy Hour with Collin Gutman - CEO, VC, Influencer
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Tim Elkana

If you haven’t heard the news, ProSky could be speaking at an SXSW panel about America’s skills gap! One of our other panelists is the incredible Collin Gutman: CEO & Founder of WorkAmerica and Partner at Acceleprise. We got a chance to ask him a few questions this week: 

Tell me about your first job. 

My first "real" job was as a management consultant at Boston Consulting Group.  But that’s not very interesting, so I’d rather talk about my first ever job.  When I was in middle school I actually wrote bios, articles and other static content when the US National Soccer Players Union (the Union for the national team that plays in the World Cup) launched their website.  It was a pretty cool experience for a middle school kid to get to meet and interview some of his heroes... Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley, Brian McBride... really a dream experience.  It just shows that even writing content can be cool if done in a context that interests you.

When you’re stressed, what’s the best way to relieve yourself? 

I’ve always been extremely competitive, and that’s led to an affinity for the video game FIFA since I was in college. While I don’t get much time to play anymore, given that I’m running a startup, FIFA is definitely my outlet.  It’s a bit like riding a bike, once you get the hang of it, you never lose it.  And 20-year-old Collin really had the hang of it.  I can usually pick up the game having been on the road for weeks at a time and beat whatever random person I get matched up against 4-0, which is a pretty good stress reliever for me.  It feels good to win, even if you’re beating a 16-year-old kid from Sweden at a video game. 

If you had to give your 20-year old self advice, what would it be? 

Other than play less FIFA?  My best advice would be to do what I love.  I’ve always been interested in startups and entrepreneurship, but I took my first job out of college at a consulting firm and just never fit in.  I thought startups weren’t a "real" job.  I’d want myself to know that what’s important is setting my mind to something and going after it, not worrying about what others thought or how prestigious my job seemed. 

What’s your spirit animal and why? 

I’m not really much into spirits and don’t know a whole lot about animals, but I’m a big fan of shark week and Sharknado.  So I’ll go with a shark for lack of real knowledge of the animal kingdom.  You really don’t mess with sharks, and no other animal gets a full week on the Discovery Channel! 

Donuts or bagels? Porque? 

Donuts... why have breakfast when you could have dessert?

If you want to see ProSky + University Ventures + WorkAmerica + Galvanize present at SXSW 2016, vote for us! 

Get inspired by Collin’s story -Start working on any projects you can early and get that experience doing anything as early as you possibly can! It doesn’t happen overnight, but with the right mentorship you can learn how to make the best decisions for your career! 

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