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Notre Dame alumni develop app

| Monday, March 21, 2016

With the summer swiftly approaching, students often find themselves lost in a sea of internship applications and turn to sites such as LinkedIn or GoIrish to help them in their search. Two Notre Dame alumni aim to simplify the career and internship search with CareerLightning.

Frank Bugaris, who graduated from Notre Dame in 1999 with a major in accounting, created CareerLightning, a mobile app that aims to create “immediate and impactful real world career introductions,” according to its website.

“A big part of the career I had in the past 10 to 15 years has been trying to find and hire people,” Bugaris said. “Although it’s one of the most rewarding parts of managing, it’s also extremely difficult. Lots of the methods are really slow or relying on word of mouth or it can cost a small fortune.”

Bugaris said newspaper advertisements and websites such as LinkedIn often charge a lot for access to their resources. He said CareerLightning offers a more affordable alternative for prospective job candidates, and its results are also more immediate.

“It’s all designed to be solely on your mobile device, so there’s nothing to plug in to your computer — it’s all on mobile,” Bugaris said. “Right now, I’m targeting start up technology companies and the candidates that they’re looking for. It could be a recent graduate, an intern or someone who has been out for 10 years doing all kinds of stuff.”

Bugaris worked with Ben Roesch, a 2008 alumnus and co-founder of Cultivate Labs, the company responsible for the design and programming of the app.

“Working with Frank was probably the strongest draw for us,” Roesch said in an email. “Lots of people have an idea or a vision for an application, but a lot of them are pretty haphazard concepts where they want to pull feature X from Facebook, feature Y from Twitter and 20 other features from all over the place. Frank had a much tighter, focused vision for the concept that became CareerLightning.”

Roesch said CareerLightning gives applicants the opportunity to simplify their career search by eliminating any unnecessary frills.

“The most attractive part of CareerLightning, to me, is the fact that it is focused and lightweight. It’s something that you can peek in on when you have a few minutes here or there,” Roesch said. “Contrast that with something like LinkedIn where there is so much going on that it can get overwhelming and distracting, rather than focusing on the actual career search.”

Bugaris said his hope is that the app makes a difference in peoples’ lives by alleviating some of the stress that comes with any job search and decreasing the time it takes for individuals to get their applications out to potential employers.

“I think it cuts down on the ‘submit your resume into the email black hole of no responses’ nonsense that seems to happen to other people,” Bugaris said. “My biggest feelings are that it decreases the time substantially from the time someone posts a position to when they can potentially get a response from somebody. Right now it’s nothing, it’s free for applicants and technology companies.”

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About Selena Ponio

Selena Ponio is from Dallas, Texas and is currently a senior at the University of Notre Dame. She is the Associate News Editor for The Observer. Selena lives in Breen-Phillips hall and is majoring in International Economics with a concentration in Spanish and is minoring in Journalism, Ethics & Democracy.

Contact Selena