Unlocking Human Potential

This is our mission and reason to exist. We are a team of missionaries, not mercenaries, in pursuit of this end.

To us, ‘Unlocking Human Potential’ means using technology to replicate at scale the life altering guidance that some people get by virtue of their background or good fortune. We think everyone should be able to find their passions, connect with a path where they can pursue them, and learn the skills they need to succeed.

Our goal is to be the way that everyone engages with their early career.

Our story

A 5-minute conversation changed our Founder’s life, when someone with knowledge of the world pointed him in the right direction and said ‘go’. However, not everyone is presented with these opportunities.

We believe that the job highway works but the on-ramps are broken - people are unable to find the best opportunities for them and employers are often unable to connect meaningfully with students & recent grads.

We are using technology to fix this problem and scale it nationwide, so everyone has access to great opportunities and every employer has access to great humans.

We choose to do this for students because it's a time when people are particularly lost. Universities are not fullfilling this need and millions of young people are left drifting, scared and lost. Companies are eager to hire young talent, but find it too costly and difficult to do so.

Our Values


These are our core values

Ask us about them.

Our team

Wall of Fame

We are inspired by others that have achieved these goals.

We are looking for
incredible people

We are a fast-paced start-up headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Poznań, Poland and Hanover, NH (the site of our first campus).

Even if you don't see the perfect position below, please feel free to submit a resume and short statement expressing how you will help us achieve our mission.

Open positions:

Alex Tonelli Co-Founder
Alex is in charge of building and empowering our team of missionaries focused on unlocking human potential.

He has founded three successful businesses prior to Vocate. Most notably, he Co-Founded Funding Circle, the largest global marketplace for small business loans, where he was US Managing Director, valued at more than $1B. Alex is particularly proud that he set out to solve the problem of small entrepreneurs not having access to bank loans and now the company he founded lends them billions every year.

Additionally, he founded Endurance Fitness, a chain of fitness centers which sold successfully, and Endurance Companies, a holding company for entrepreneurial investments. Previously, Alex was an investor at Summit Partners, Seneca Capital, and Hasso Plattner Ventures, where he implemented a successful turnaround as Interim CEO of Global Vision. Alex has also worked for Citigroup Consumer Investment Banking, the US Embassy in Paris, and relevantly Dartmouth Career Services. Alex received an MBA from Stanford and an AB, cum laude, from Dartmouth.

As a child, he dreamed of playing hockey for the New York Rangers (and sometimes still does).
Braden Pan Marketplace & Growth
Braden is Director of Marketplace and Growth where he has his hands in all aspects of the business. He joined Vocate because of his own struggles to figure out his post-college career path.

Previously, he was the first non-founding employee of Distributed Sun, a solar energy startup. In addition, he has worked for a small private equity firm, multiple senators on Capitol Hill, and volunteered at a middle school in Ghana. Braden received a B.A. in Philosophy from the College of William and Mary and an MBA from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business.

Braden’s childhood dream job was to be a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox and an astronaut in the off-season.
Eric Hennings Co-Founder
Eric leads the technology, product and marketing teams at Vocate. His teams craft experiences that help students and employers to forge meaningful connections.

He has founded and led technology & product at several venture backed startups: Modewalk (a SaaS fashion technology site that was acquired by Moda Operandi) and IceBreaker (a mobile social networking & gaming company that was acquired by DeNA, the top mobile social network in Japan). Eric previously was the Vice President of Mobile Search at Yahoo! and spent nine years at Microsoft on projects including early versions of Internet Explorer, Sharepoint and Microsoft CRM.

Eric earned his B.A. from Reed College and as a child dreamed of discovering new frontiers as a deep sea marine biologist.
Jackie Peterson Marketing
Jackie leads Marketing at Vocate. At Vocate she has found a match where she can pursue her passion for education, technology, and improving student life. Her job is to spread the word about Vocate to college students and recent grads.

She earned her B.A. at the University of San Francisco and M.A. at Freie Universität in Berlin. She has been working in the higher education and ed-tech field for the past 5 years, including working at iversity in Berlin.

Although she loves her job, her childhood dream was to become an illustrator and animator.
Matt Miles Business Development
Matt leads Business Development at Vocate. He and his team design solutions which help companies attract and retain entry-level talent, while also offering hiring managers access to a diverse funnel of recent college grads.

Prior to Vocate Matt was a management consultant at Protiviti with an industry focus in Staffing & Recruiting and RPO. Matt holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Colorado, and has earned a certificate in Corporate Finance as a post-graduate.

Matt's childhood (and current) dream job is to be an MLB color commentator, preferably in the National League.
Romil Patel Business Development & Operations
Romil is an analyst at Vocate where he focuses on making sure that students have access to the right opportunities and employers have access to the right students.

Previously, he co-founded EMI, a medical devices startup. He has also published research in Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering. Romil graduated from Dartmouth College in 2016 with a Master of Engineering Management degree as a George Conrades Distinguished Fellow and holds a BS, cum laude, in Biomedical Engineering from The George Washington University.

Romil's childhood dream job was to play small forward for the Boston Celtics.
Sam Carney Candidate Advocate
Sam is a Candidate Advocate at Vocate. He is responsible for ensuring that all students on our platform achieve a successful outcome. He leads our student side customer service efforts, provides coaching and guidance to students on career paths, and delivers and improves our interview prep processes.

He earned his B.A. from Ithaca College where he was captain of the football team, and has spent the past 3 years in various positions at both the Cornell and Dartmouth athletic departments. Sam joined Vocate both because of his passion for coaching and helping college students and his own experiences navigating the job market after graduating college.

Sam’s childhood dream job was to be a professional football player and have his own food truck in the off season.
Łukasz Banasiak Backend Software Developer
Łukasz is a full stack developer and crafts both backend systems and frontend features. His work helps students to better understand what they want to do and helps both employers and students to connect.

He has been a member of several startups and established companies as both a python programmer and a systems administrator. Lukasz previously worked at one of the largest fixed income and equity asset managers in Europe (BZ WBK Asset Management -part of Santander Group).

Łukasz has a B.Sc. in Computer Science from the Poznan University of Technology. His childhood dream job was to become a basketball player in the NBA.
Adrian Kruszewski Backend Software Developer
Adrian is a Backend Software Developer at Vocate. He specializes in building matching algorithms and systems that discover the best opportunities to connect students with their dream jobs and employers with passionate employees.

Prior to Vocate, he worked at a number of other startups focusing on data mining, data analysis, and machine learning.

He received a B.A. in Astronomy from the Adam Mickiewicz University and his childhood dream job was to be an Astronomer.
Darek Frynas Frontend Software Developer
Darek is a Frontend Software Developer at Vocate and builds seamless, enjoyable and beautiful experiences into our products for employers and students.

Prior to working at Vocate, Darek was the CSS master at Dynado, a startup software company. He received a B.Sc. in Engineering for the University of Applied Sciences in Gorzow, Poland.

Darek’s childhood dream job was to fly tactical fighters.
Sylwia Początko Project Manager
Sylwia is the project manager for our development team and helps get new features into the hands of employers and job seekers. She also heads up Quality Assurance.

She has worked as a tester at two other startups and is currently studying Quality Engineering at the University of Zielona Góra.

Sylwia’s childhood dream job was to be a children’s author, and she wrote & illustrated some books.
Hubert Jaruzal Frontend Software Developer
Hubert is a Front End Software Developer at Vocate. He creates beautiful user interfaces and helps students and employers have a great experience when using Vocate.

Prior to Vocate, he worked at several software houses. Hubert has a B.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Technology in Bydgoszcz.

His childhood dream job was to become a paleontologist.
Magdalena Waligórska Software Developer
Magda is a Software Developer at Vocate. She writes clean, high-quality code and creates new features that help people find their career path.

In her spare time she likes reading a wide variety of books, baking, mountaineering and admiring the beauty of nature.

She earned a M. Sc. in Computer Science from the Poznań University of Technology and her childhood dream job was to become a detective.
Szymon Ignaczak Quality Assurance
Szymon is a Quality Assurance Specialist at Vocate and gives product features the love they need so that the experience for students & employers is of the highest quality.

Before working at Vocate he was a QA lead at Fitatu, tested a platform for learning English, worked at a San Francisco startup and completed dozens of projects working for a software development group in Poznań. He finished a management degree at the University of Economics in Poznań and took additional postgraduate studies in programming engineering from the University of Technology in Poznań.

Szymon’s childhood dream job was to be a professional surfer with his own shop filled with surfboards.
Mateusz Wagner Software Developer
Mateusz is a Software Developer at Vocate. He crafts clean, robust code and delivers new features that help people boost their career.

Prior to Vocate, he worked at Ivona Software (acquired by Amazon), Dynatrace and Gdańsk University of Technology on various research projects utilizing Poland's fastest supercomputer.

He earned a M. Eng. in Computer Science from the Gdańsk University of Technology and his childhood dream job was to become a racing driver.
Maxine Dillon Operations Advocate
Maxine graduated from Yale University with a degree in English. She loves storytelling in all the forms it may take-and all the places it has brought her, from libraries and theaters to Vocate.

Her childhood dream job was to be a figure skating astronaut spy, space travel in the summer and Olympic competitions in the winter-espionage, of course, being a year-round commitment.
Laurel Maley Candidate Advocate
Laurel is a Candidate Advocate at Vocate. She helps job seekers find their career path and provides interview coaching and guidance.

Laurel has always been passionate about working with people and brings her experience in teaching, community outreach, and social science research to Vocate. She received a B.A. in Psychology from Ithaca College.

Laurel's childhood dream job was to be a National Geographic Photographer.