SEATTLE, Feb. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Koru (www.joinkoru.com), a company focused on transforming the college-to-career landscape, today announced a partnership with 13 leading U.S. colleges and universities to help launch an immersive learning program that bridges the gap between today's college graduates and the needs of high-growth employers.
Koru's new partner institutions are: Bates College, Brown University, Colorado College, Connecticut College, Denison University, Georgetown University, Mount Holyoke College, Occidental College, Pomona College, University of Southern California, Vassar College, Whitman College, and Williams College.
"We are delighted to be working closely with this group of forward thinking colleges and universities," said Kristen Hamilton, Koru CEO. "They are individually and collectively committed to providing new options for their students to launch great careers – and we share that commitment to serving their students."
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 44 percent of recent college graduates are underemployed. At the same time, nearly half of U.S. employers report difficulty finding qualified recent graduates. Koru's programs provide the real-world experience, practical skills, and professional networks to launch graduates into their first career job with a great employer. The programs are designed to serve college seniors and recent graduates, and complement a high-quality, broad-based academic education and existing career development resources.
"We see preparing students for purposeful work as a central element of the liberal arts mission, and that makes the partnership with Koru particularly exciting for Bates," said Clayton Spencer, President of Bates College. "Our students are looking for challenging, hands-on experiences in the workplace, and employers are looking for students like ours – creative and energetic problem-solvers. Everyone wins."
"There is an opportunity to reinvent the bridges between college and the professions," said Denison University President Adam Weinberg. "Koru is the partner we need to make that happen. Not only are they impacting students, but they are also going to help colleges develop the capacity to rethink and rebuild the process in dynamic, relevant and strategic ways."
"The genius of Koru lies in the way it teaches students marketable skills in real-world situations, while also fostering the kind of collaborative learning environment that will allow our students to thrive. It will complement and enhance the comprehensive career programming that we already provide. We are thrilled to be an inaugural partner," said Connecticut College President Katherine Bergeron.
A core element of the program, Koru works closely with fast-growing, leading employers such as REI, zulily, Trupanion and Smartsheet, which are seeking a better way to recruit early-career talent.
"Koru allows us to see what someone can do far beyond what we can learn from a resume and an interview – and to have confidence that they could contribute to our organization from day one," said Colleen McKeown, SVP of Human Resources at zulily. "Two or three years from now, I expect the Koru grads will be the ones I'm seeing on the fast track at zulily."
Four Koru program sessions have been announced for June, July and September in Seattle and September in San Francisco. For more information on Koru and complete details on upcoming programs, please visit www.joinkoru.com.
Koru is transforming the college-to-career landscape with an immersive, experiential learning program designed to quickly make recent college graduates workplace-ready and place them inside high-growth work environments. Koru was founded by veteran entrepreneurs Kristen Hamilton, former co-founder at Onvia and COO at World Learning, and Josh Jarrett, former head of Higher Education Innovation for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and consultant with McKinsey & Company. Koru has raised $4.45 million in funding, led by the venture capital firm Maveron. Other participating investors include Battery Ventures, First Round Capital and Andreessen Horowitz, as well as a select number of individual investors. Headquartered in Seattle, Koru runs employer-embedded programs with partners like REI and zulily to give recent graduates the skills, experience and connections they need to get hired and make an immediate impact at leading companies. For more information on Koru and details on upcoming programs and partners, please visit www.joinkoru.com.