Competing in (and winning!) the 2015 KETI Competition

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By Tracy Xu

I recently had the pleasure of competing as part of the 6 Degrees team in the Kellogg Education Technology Incubator (KETI) competition. KETI gave our team (made up of myself, Edward Kuk ’17, Abhishek Nag ’17 and two developer friends David Wen and Aditya Bhalla) the unique opportunity to gain support from faculty and students on an idea we worked on for the past year.

The inspiration for 6 Degrees came from an in-class exercise that taught us the power of networks. We all came to Kellogg with personal and professional dreams. For two years, we are among a pool of smart, talented individuals who can bring us closer to achieving our dreams. But how do we know who these connectors are? And how do they know what our aspirations are?

6 Degrees gives students a chance to share their dreams with the Kellogg network and allows anyone in the network to reach out and offer help.

Students simply post their aspirations on the 6 Degrees “Dream Wall,” and then other network members can connect with them directly on the wall or via email.

The Dream Wall holds a large collection of goals and dreams, and spans a variety of themes: joining an agriculture technology startup, gaining exposure to the venture capital scene in Asia and even starting “a business focused on reducing consumer-driven land waste.”

What happened when we tested this platform with 100 students was nothing short of magical. Connections were made around areas of career opportunities, personal interests and travel. The collaborative and pay-it-forward culture at Kellogg really shined through. Students tell us the platform has expanded their personal networks and taken them a step closer to achieving their career aspirations.

We were honored to be one on five teams to receive funding during the competition. We now have an opportunity to further develop the platform, and we also have Kellogg’s support to expand 6 Degrees’ access to all students, and possibly even alumni. This coming quarter, we will also be working with the Career Management Center and Dean of Admissions to integrate 6 Degrees into job recruitment for current students and Day At Kellogg (DAK) for admitted students.

There is certainly a lot of work ahead, but we look forward to the inspiring connections that 6 Degrees creates in the Kellogg community. Visit us at www.gosixdegrees.com to browse and help Kellogg students realize their aspirations.

Read more about this year’s KETI competition.

Tracy Xu is a second-year student in Kellogg’s Full-Time Two-Year MBA Program. Prior to Kellogg, she worked in Relationship Management and Operations at JPMorgan and UBS in Hong Kong. After graduation, she will join Walmart’s Strategy and Finance team and continue to work on 6 Degrees.

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