Career Launch

Why Paper Could Be a Great Place to Launch Your Career

Corné van Straten
March 2020

Remote learning is continually on the rise. With companies like Udemy, Coursera, EdX, and LinkedIn Learning, ambitious people all over the globe are choosing to leave their campuses and schools and power on their screens at home to learn new skills and ideas. And with remote work becoming more and more of a norm (especially with unexpected situations like the new coronavirus), it’s becoming even more clear to many people how much opportunity there is to learn remotely.

This is where Paper comes in. They’re taking this remote learning movement even deeper into uncharted territory by providing live, online tutoring sessions and essay reviews for all K-12 subjects.

And they’re growing fast. Paper’s now serving 300,000 students in the U.S. and Canada, and they’ve raised $9 million to date by the likes of Reach Capital, Google, and Anges Quebec. So Paper is definitely going places.

Paper is on a mission to achieve educational equity

Paper’s mission is achieving “educational equity”: giving every student access to the best possible education, regardless of age, language, location, or socio-economic status.

To the founders of Paper, education is all about accessibility and equality. With Paper, the team aims to level the playing field for all students and ensure that every child can achieve their highest potential.

How’s that for a cool mission to be a part of?

Paper has stellar leadership

For the founders and leaders of Paper, their mission is not merely a nice ideal. It’s serious business. Just how serious they are about this goal becomes clear when you read about the company’s origin.

Founder/CEO Philip Cutler‘s background is in education. He used to be a teacher, but he left the teaching world in 2014 to found Paper (then called Gradeslam) with Robert Cipriani. The company was born out of a frustration that no matter how well Cutler taught his students, each of them would still leave the classroom with different levels of understanding. True equity could not be achieved—at least not in this way.

The main problem here was that lots of students would benefit from extra attention and tutoring, but nine out of ten families were unable to afford private tutoring.

So Cutler and Cipriani founded Paper to solve this problem. And they’re pretty good at it.

Paper is building a high-growth team

Paper now has over 300 tutors in its “education support system”, as they like to call it. These are the people that provide Paper’s live chat tutoring to hundreds of thousands of students across Northern America. Of course, there is also a wide range of designers, engineers, customer advocates, and salespeople to help the company grow.

Here’s how I would pitch Paper!

Instead of just clicking “apply” and filling out the form, like everyone else is doing, do a little more:

  • Create a video pitch
  • Tell them why you love their mission
  • Back up your skills by showing a project
  • Send it all directly to the founders

To stand out from the crowd, you want to show your genuine enthusiasm in wanting to work for Paper. And a great way to do this is to create a one-minute video pitch for Paper.

Showing your face and letting them hear your voice in a video pitch will help you convey your passion and enthusiasm for the role way better than a cover letter ever could. Here’s how to make a great job pitch.

In your video, start with why you love Paper’s mission (see above!). You could mention something about your own experience in school, and maybe mention some of the subjects you could have used extra help with.

Then tell them what skills you bring to the table and how you see yourself succeeding in this role. Add a project to your pitch to back it up!

Both of the founders are active on Twitter, so a great way to get their attention is to tweet your video pitch directly to them:

Make something that makes their jaws drop, and before you know it, you’ll be working at Paper! If you’d like some help or feedback on your pitch to Paper, feel free to reach out to me at Corné [at] Crash [dot] co.

Good luck!

See more great companies to pitch.

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