We are living in the age of personal branding. It is up to all of us to create the narrative of how others see us. The Internet is home to the collective information about our life experiences that form what others think about us. Friends, lovers, schools, and employers examine our lifetime of experiences and judge us for it. It is up to us to manage this information, and to put our best foot forward.
Pathbrite helps you build a career portfolio that collects, tracks, and shares a lifetime of experiences—bringing you closer to your dream school, internship, or career. When others evaluate you (and compare you to others), they see the full story of your life, and experiences—personally branded by you.
Pathbrite does this by documenting, analyzing and mapping individual achievement of all kinds against individuals’ goals and those of their peers. They call it a “Knowledge Graph.” Students can use our Pathbrite People Portfolios to differentiate themselves to get into their preferred schools or land the jobs of their dreams. School admissions officers and employers can rely on the Pathbrite Portfolio Platform to get a holistic view of candidates, and to better evaluate their readiness and “fit.”
Pathbrite was founded by Heather Hiles who has spent her career committed to closing the education and employment achievement gaps for youth and adults. Heather has been CEO of a big welfare-to-work program for low-income women, as well as a commissioner on the San Francisco Unified School District board, where she says she “saw first-hand the pernicious effects of income and opportunity disparities for kids who happen to have been born on the wrong side of the tracks.” All of which led her to form Pathbrite in 2010. “I’m so passionate about what Pathbrite Portfolios can do to help people address the critical gaps in their lives that might prevent them from getting the education they want, or the job they need, or the promotion they desire,” she says.
Heather originally founded Pathbrite as a secure document-sharing site for any kind of digital media. “At the time, I felt that families and individuals needed something better for securely sharing things like vacation videos and photos, or your kid’s baseball game schedules.”
But, as people started using the site, Heather noticed a lot of teachers were registered and were using us to securely share classroom-based media with students and parents. “I began learning about the concept of e-Portfolios as a way for students to document all the evidence of their learning and achievement, and as a way for teachers to get at alternative forms of assessment. The problem was, no one had built a true Web 2.0 e-Portfolio solution that was end-user centric, so teachers and students were working around what was available in the ed-tech stack by kluging together their own solutions.”
So Heather pivoted the company to deliver a beautiful, free portfolio product that people are using in both education and career settings to better illustrate everything they’ve learned and achieved, including any sort of digital media asset and digital forms of transcripts, diplomas and certifications.
With Pathbrite Portfolios, people are able to collect and reflect on all the evidence of their learning and achievements, including the many digital breadcrumbs that increasingly make up a person’s life. By reflecting on what you’ve already achieved and looking at what you’ve done in your education or career or personal life in terms of work product, school projects, or community service work, you can get a true sense of how far you’ve come and what more you may need to do to achieve your goals.
You can also choose to share your portfolio with an evaluator – a teacher, an admissions officer, a recruiter, an employer – so they, too can better evaluate you based on a whole host of measures. It goes way beyond the one-dimensional devices we use today to evaluate individuals, such as resumes, job applications or college applications, to get at the true measure of a human being.
Pathbrite is currently focused on two primary markets: Higher education and recent graduates looking for internships or their first jobs, but see future opportunities in K-12 institutions and corporate environments as well. “We believe we have a compelling value proposition for each that is unique. While our core portfolio product will always be free, we will be introducing premium features for individuals and for institutions and enterprises where we’ll charge for access on an annual basis.”
Pathbrite says their early success comes from listening to their users and “letting them educate us about what they need and what is useful to them.” They’re innovating and educating their target markets about what’s possible in Web Portfolios, while also learning from those markets about what works and what doesn’t. “It’s funny: by listening to our users, they helped me tap into my deep and abiding passions, and we have company today that I’m really proud of as a result,” according to Heather.
By deeply listening to their users and measuring everything they do, Pathbrite seems to be on the right track of delivering something that is truly making a difference out there, and perfect for today’s need to manage your personal brand.