Letter from the CEO: Tallo’s New Space

Talent should be found far before college graduation.

College athletic recruiters figured this out a long time ago, and here, at Tallo, we recognized this too. In just six years this realization has moved us in ways we could have only dreamed. 

For a long time, platforms that allowed for the discovery of young talents only existed within the world of sports, allowing colleges to connect with their prospects earlier and earlier. 

However, there was no system, app, or website out there that was able to find a future welder, technician, engineer, or nurse. We saw this as a big problem. So, we began to ask ourselves how we could use technology to level the playing field and really democratize the process of recruiting. Regardless of where a student lived, or what they were interested in, we wanted to connect them with the right opportunities. 

We envisioned a platform that allows students to showcase their skills and abilities that weren’t necessarily on the football field or the basketball court, but in the classroom as well.

We envisioned a platform that would do away with mailing brochures and career fairs that companies and colleges previously used to seek out students in well-connected high schools. What we envisioned was a platform that allowed companies and colleges to get to these students earlier, and help direct them into the pathways that they needed. That platform didn’t exist.   

Until, that is, we created what was then called STEM Premier, a digital platform showcasing the success and talents of traditional STEM students and connecting them to opportunities in their field of interest.

Our platform was great for STEM students, but we soon realized the concept was great for all students. 

As we grew, our population of students with diverse skills and interests grew as well. We realized that in order to better represent them, we needed to change our name to make it more inclusive and inviting. 

We weren’t just STEM students, we were all students, and we needed our name to be representative of that. 

So, we changed our name to Tallo — meaning “talent” + “locator.” 

I can say that expanding to the point of a name change was a major milestone, but since our inception in 2013 we have crossed many of these.

Getting those first students to come onto our brand new platform was a challenge. From what started in just two high schools on the outskirts of Charleston, SC has now expanded to over half a million users. There are students on Tallo in nearly two out of every three high schools in the country. We have Tallo students in all 50 states and in over 3,000 different colleges.

As our user population has grown, our Tallo Team has followed suit. It still amazes me that less than a year ago we were a lean 16. Our team now consists of over 30 employees, who came to Tallo with a wealth of experience, knowledge, and raw creative energy to push this company past the next big milestone: one million users.

It’s been exciting to see significant growth both internally and externally; our expansion into a new office space is proof of that. It’s been even more exciting to watch the transformation of a company that was once a start-up comprised of dynamic generalists become a company of specialists connecting talent with talent seekers anywhere in the country. 

This is more than just a move into a new space for the Tallo Team. I think this move signifies the next step. A new office with spaces to work collaboratively and continuously expand is what’s going to take us to the next level. 

Because we’re not a start-up company anymore. We’re a real company. We’re a fast-growing company. 

And it’s time to tell the world truly who Tallo is. 

Tallo Spotlight: Marianna Moawad

Networking, a day off from school, and free BBQ. When applying for the 2018 STEM Signing Day, Marianna Moawad, an upcoming sophomore at Clemson University, was originally expecting the very least from what remains a very memorable experience. 

Through her Tallo profile, which allows her to showcase her unique skills and interests, Marianna was part of a select group of students chosen by Boeing, BMW, and the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance to attend the second annual South Carolina STEM Signing Day. Onstage at the event, Marianna signed a letter of intent to pursue a STEM degree at Clemson University.  She made connections with students who held similar interests, and received affirmations from elected officials and leaders in business and the community that solidified her success and future plans. Still, her love for computer science began well before her STEM Signing Day experience. 

From building her first website to learning about the world of coding, as the years have gone on Marianna has found herself becoming more passionate about the field of technology. 

Now, in a college setting, the Computer Information Systems major is experiencing firsthand the lack of women in her field ⁠— a discovery that she finds to be disheartening. In her own words, “We are the minority, and there’s not a lot of women in technology. And it’s very sad.”

Her advice to students in general was simple: “Life is hard, it’s not going to be easy,” Moawad says. “If you don’t get an A, that’s fine. Just make sure you’re learning from those experiences and trying to think in a different way.”

Good luck with all of your future endeavors, Marianna. We look forward to seeing all of your success on your Tallo profile!

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Tallo Spotlight: Jocelyn Holman

When one of our Tallo students finds that perfect fit — whether a particular school, opportunity, or organization — we get excited. It’s what we live for, and it happens every single day (so we pretty much stay excited 24/7)!

But in Jocelyn Holman’s case, she found more than a perfect internship; she may have just found her true calling.

Jocelyn H.

High School Student in Lakewood, CO

Jocelyn’s Tallo story began thirteen years ago during her preschool graduation. While her classmates excitedly shouted plans for their future selves, Jocelyn made a rather prophetic announcement to the audience.

Many years – and LEGO sets – later, her passion for robotics inspired her to get involved with her local FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team, The Highlanders. With lots of hard work, dedication, and of course, their robot “Blitzar,” The Highlanders powered their way to the FRC World Championships in Houston, Texas.

It was during the last day of the competition when Jocelyn’s Tallo profile made an impact on the global aerospace giant Lockheed Martin. Following an interview at our Tallo booth, the rising high school senior was awarded a Lockheed Martin Radio Frequency Engineering Internship, where she recently began working this summer alongside some of the industry’s best minds. We guess you could say that she made a great FIRST impression!

Although Jocelyn is still exploring her career options, she is already confident about her plans after high school.

Don’t be fooled by her modesty! The Colorado School of Mines is only one of the best applied sciences and engineering schools in the country! We know she’ll fit right in.

We asked Jocelyn what advice she would give to her younger peers who are still figuring out their own life path. Without missing a beat, she delivered.

Jocelyn Holman, ladies and gentlemen! It’s certainly safe to say that she has followed her own advice.

Good luck with your internship Jocelyn! And keep following your heart. We’ll help you figure out the rest.

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The World Speaks Tallo

When your third-period French teacher told you that learning another language is important, she wasn’t just trying to make you pay attention. It’s true!

Being proficient in multiple languages is a huge advantage for students and job-seekers as the world becomes more global and interconnected. Not only can it help you land a nice gig, but it will also pay off over time, literally! For example, studies show that people who can speak both Spanish and English in the state of Florida earn about $7,000 more per year than those who don’t.

This comes as no surprise to us, which is why Tallo’s platform is searchable by language. From Albanian to Welsh, there are thousands of student users who can talk the talk.

If you’ve followed us closely, you know that “tallo” is the Spanish word for “stem”; a nod to our previous name. So we were a little curious, and wanted to know how the world says “Tallo!”

Check out the translation as well as the number of Tallo users who speak some select languages:

Arabic:    ‘iiqaf (1,000)

French:    tige (3,600)

Russian:    stebel’ (500)

German:    stengel (1,300)

Haitian Creole:    tij (350)

Chinese:    gàn (1,700)

Japanese:    kan (500)

Afrikaans:    stam (750)

Korean:    julgi (650)

Latin:    caulis (600)

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Choosing a Career: No Clue? No Problem

“What do I want to do as a career?”  

A ton of people, including us here at Team Tallo, have asked ourselves this question a hundred times. But coming up with a good answer isn’t so simple, is it?

NBD, we’ve all been there. It’s an important question, and definitely not one that should be taken lightly. Unfortunately, many students feel pressured to come up with an answer too quickly, and so they make a decision before they’ve truly explored the world of possibilities out there.

Tallo can help with that too. Don’t know what you want to do with your life yet? Good for you. That means you’re putting a lot of thought into your future. Actually, maybe the profession you’ll choose is one you haven’t even heard of yet!

So we put together a little list to get your imagination flowing. Here are a handful of actual professions which actual Tallo users are interested in. Any of them sound intriguing? Click them to find out more!

FYI, we included the number of Tallo users pursuing each profession, in case you were wondering…

 

Mechatronics Technicians – 218

Think: a type of engineering involving the design and production of automated equipment, like robots!

Set Designers – 247

These professionals literally “set the scene,” and plan the backdrops for movies, television shows, and theatrical productions!

Speech Language Pathologists – 873

Compassionate and dedicated individuals who help children and adults overcome speech impediments.

Diesel Technicians – 451

Don’t mind getting your hands a little greasy? Diesel technicians keep large machinery like trucks, bulldozers, and farm equipment running smoothly.

Budget Analysts – 906

Number-crunching gurus who ensure that businesses and organizations are spending their money wisely.

Medical Transcriptionists – 286

These administrative professionals are medical experts who handle important business work so doctors and nurses can focus on their patients.

Urban and Regional Planners – 172

For creative individuals with grand ideas! Urban and regional planners design, develop, and revitalize entire communities and urban areas.

Geoscientists – 535

Nobody understands the Earth better than geoscientists, who observe and study the planet’s vast ecosystems.

Public Relations Specialists – 651

Got the gift of gab? PR specialists are the public mouthpieces for businesses, organizations, and government offices.

Wildlife Technicians – 837

Imagine a career exploring the great outdoors and interacting with animals of all shapes and sizes; A nature lover’s dream!

Foreign Service Officers – 1,363

Foreign service officers (or FSOs) represent the U.S. government all over the world in foreign embassies and consulates.

Choreographers – 397

Performance artists who create the routines and dances for shows, concerts, and music videos…like Beyonce’s!

#LifeHacks: The Tallo Student Dashboard    

We get it. You’re busy. And when you’re busy, you need every life hack you can get.

That’s what the Tallo dashboard is; it’s a life hack designed just for you. Using information from your profile, it generates a virtual heads-up display which gives you the skinny on opportunities that match your interests. It’s pretty nifty, which is why we wanted it to be the first thing a student sees when they log-in to Tallo.

Here’s a few of the things you’ll find:

Scholarships

Financial aid powered by Redkite puts $20 billion worth of scholarships at your fingertips. Take the stress out of your scholarship search, and let Tallo do some of the hard work for you.

There are even more tools, such as events and suggested academic majors, all based on your profile information. Which reminds us…the more complete your Tallo profile is, the more useful your dashboard will be!

Organizations

The “Explore Organizations” module connects you with schools and businesses which align with your education and career aspirations. So give them a browse. The organization that’s perfect for you may be one you’ve never even heard about before!

Majors

The “Majors” window in the lower left is a good reminder that you’ve got options. Tallo takes a look at what you’re interested in and serves up some related fields of study you might want to consider.

Five Pretty Cool Things You Can Do With Your Tallo Profile

We’ve been in this business for awhile, so we’ve learned a thing or two about what students need. Sometimes there are simple things that can fly under the radar. As we’ve grown and evolved, so too have our app and digital platform. Each day, we are working to make the Tallo experience as useful as it can be.

Here are just a few of the things that make Tallo…well, Tallo!

Geographic Preferences

It’s a big world out there. Perhaps you’re ready to jet off and start your own adventure somewhere new. Or maybe you want to stay close to home. Either way, you can set your geographic preferences so colleges and organizations know whether you’d be interested in packing your bags or staying put.

Digital Badges

Let’s be real. Even if it’s just logging 5,000 steps on their Fitbit, everyone loves showing off their accomplishments! Showcase your unique credentials and qualifications with our digital badges. Achievement unlocked.

Profile Exporting

You’ve worked hard filling out your profile, so share it everywhere you can. However, it may not be the best idea to pull up Tallo on your phone when an interviewer asks for your resume. But you know what is a great idea? Export your profile into PDF format, print it out (or email it) and be prepared for those face-to-face situations!

Next Steps

The future can be uncertain, and that can make life’s big transitions a little nerve-wracking. That’s what our Next Step feature is all about. Whether you’re headed to a four-year college, two-year college, the military, or the workforce, selecting your next step icon will help schools, businesses, and organizations find you! And you can always change your mind later, so take a few deep breaths and relax.

Videos

Resumes are important, but can a piece of paper really tell the whole story about YOU? We didn’t think so. Our video feature gives you the ability to truly stand out amongst the crowd. Can you dance? Sing? Play the guitar? Handle a miter saw like a pro? Flip that camera into landscape mode and start recording!

Four Scholarships That May Be Perfect for You

There are literally hundreds of thousands of scholarship opportunities in the United States. That’s a lot.

Extra cash to pay for college is great. But searching for the right scholarships seems like it could be a full-time job! Where do you even begin?

No worries. We’ve got your back.

Our partnership with Red Kite, a scholarship matching engine, allows Tallo student users to match with over $20 billion in scholarships. And it’s really easy. We give you a Tallo profile to show yourself off. Red Kite reviews your profile in order to plug you into the right scholarship opportunities. Great teamwork, right? Like I said, we’ve got your back.

And speaking of your profile, here’s a tip: the more complete it is, the better scholarship matches you’ll get with Red Kite. There may be a scholarship somewhere out there that was created for someone just like you. So be sure that your profile is telling your whole story!

What kinds of scholarships? There are all kinds! Just check out the financial aid info on our Tallo dashboard to find a whole list of them. To give you an idea, here are a few examples:

Automotive Women’s Alliance Foundation Scholarships

This one’s for all my girls who love cars. This scholarship is awarded by the Automotive Women’s Alliance Foundation (AWAF) to females who are passionate about the automotive industry.

Horatio Alger National Career & Technical Scholarship Program

Horatio Alger was a 19th-century author whose characters worked hard to overcome challenges and achieve their dreams. Applicants for this scholarship must be committed to career or technical program and demonstrate financial need.

E.C. Hallbeck Scholarship Fund

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night, right? This scholarship is awarded by the American Postal Workers Union to high school seniors whose parent, step-parent, or grandparent served as U.S. postal worker.

National Collegiate Cancer Foundation Scholarships

A scholarship for courageous young adults whose lives have been impacted by cancer. Applications for 2019 will open this month.

Do any of these opportunities sound like a perfect fit for you? Go ahead and apply — someone’s going to win them, why can’t it be you?

Something Extra for Your Extracurriculars

We know that putting yourself out there in front of colleges and employers can be awkward, confusing, or scary. Maybe you don’t know what to say or how to say it. Well, we hope Tallo’s making the whole process a little better.

We know there’s more to your story (and your Tallo profile) than just your GPA and standardized test scores. Just about anything that you do outside of the classroom can have a place in your profile. If you’re having a hard time figuring out what to write, we went ahead and made a little list for you.

Any of them sound like you? Go ahead and paste them right into your profile. It’s cool with us. All you have to do is fill in the blanks and switch up the descriptions to match your unique experiences. Easy-peasy!

1. Trusted babysitter with (insert number) years of childcare experience

As a dependable and dedicated babysitter, I ensure that the young children in my care are kept safe and engaged. I am consistently recommended by my clients to other parents due to my trustworthiness and experience.

2. Volunteer with (insert local community or faith organization)

As a member of my organization’s marketing committee, I helped generate interest for our largest fundraising event of the year. By promoting the event with flyers, emails, and telephone calls, we set a new attendance record.

3. Member of (insert sports team)

As a three-year member of my school’s varsity basketball team, I have learned important skills such as teamwork, cooperation, and commitment. Over three years, I was never late to a single practice or game, and I was voted co-captain during my senior season.

4. Freelance lawn maintenance professional

I have spent the past two summers managing my own lawn care business by proactively advertising my services to members of the community. I worked hard to ensure that each customer was satisfied with the level of care I provided for their lawn, and have grown my client list extensively.

5. Experienced (insert subject) tutor

As a tutor, I know that it takes compassion and patience to help others learn. I help students complete their homework and special assignment, and prepare for tests. My favorite part is when a student shows me that their grade has improved!

Welcome to Tallo!

You’ve probably noticed by now. Things look a little…different.

Okay, so maybe things look a lot different. Where did STEM Premier go?

No worries, we haven’t gone anywhere. We’ve just changed our name to Tallo! As we’ve grown to help hundreds of thousands of young people showcase their talents, we’ve realized that those talents extend far beyond the STEM fields. So we thought a change was in order. We’re here for everybody, no matter what their passions are.

Tallo represents who we are and where we’re going. The world needs all sorts of people, whether they excel in the lab, on the stage, or under the engine compartment. Everyone is welcome on Tallo!

Why the name “Tallo”? Think “talent” + “locator.” We like to keep things simple and on point. And as a little nod to our history, “tallo” just happens to be the Spanish word for “stem.”

Our name might be different, but our mission is the same: to give young people a way to showcase themselves to the educational and professional organizations who are looking for them. Finding the right path can be overwhelming. We’re here to make it easier.

Already have an account with us? Fantastic. Your login information is the same, and your profile is just how you left it. So you can pick up right where you left off.

New around here? Pleased to make your acquaintance. Jump right in and start showing yourself off to the world! Whether you’re a student, a school, or an organization, start creating your Tallo profile by clicking HERE.

Then go ahead and strap in, suit up, hunker down, or whatever it is that gets you in the zone. Maybe it’s listening to some dubstep or country or rap. Maybe it’s interpretive dance. We don’t judge.

In other words, you just do you. Tallo will help you figure out the rest.