I wrote the other day about what I think Comp Sci majors are doing wrong at career fairs and how they should be distinguishing themselves from their peers. There's a fun debate in the comments about whether I gave the right advice. Regardless, here's a followup question I need answered from CS undergrads:

If you've been to a career fair, what did startups do wrong? How can we get you to notice us?

When I consider how we at 10gen set ourselves up at Big Ivy University's career fair, I don't think we did any better than the students did. We displayed our logo and the name of our product MongoDB, and ... that's it. I can't blame the hundred kids who came up to our table and said, "What do you do?" We should say why an intership with us will be awesome, e.g.:

  • The NoSQL movement is one of the most innovative areas in software these days, and we dominate it.
  • We're small, so if you're smart you can make a big relative contribution.
  • We're run by and for coders: Our CEO codes, I code, our customers code, everyone codes.
  • We're on the kind of growth trajectory that eventually makes household-name companies.

I don't know how to say these things convincingly, especially not on a poster, so that a smart undergrad who's never heard of us will stop at our table. Suggestions?