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by Fredrik Marø | October 04, 2021


Today we’re excited to embark on a new chapter for Vault and Firsthand with the launch of our new career engagement platform. We’re starting this new chapter with a unified new brand and a familiar name: Firsthand. With this new release, we’re unveiling a greatly improved experience for our employers, schools, and most importantly, our student and alumni career seekers. We’re combining the know-how of Vault’s career resources with the know-who of a world-class mentoring and networking solution to create a platform that knows you, the career seeker. Our mission is to equalize access to valuable career insights, expert advice, and connections to help career seekers to navigate their career from a position of strength, knowledge, and assurance so that they can find their best next step.

We wouldn’t be here without the herculean efforts of our incredible team or the patience of our awesome clients. We’ve been hard at work since Vault acquired Firsthand this January to make today a reality, but really, it’s been a long time coming. The world of work looked very different when Samer Hamadeh and Mark Oldman founded in 1996 and when I founded Firsthand with three business school classmates in 2010. Today’s post-pandemic job seekers face an entirely different reality. Jobs today require a continuously evolving set of skills. Remote work is the norm. And for many career seekers, company culture, social impact, and quality of life outweigh the importance of traditional job criteria like money, prestige, and advancement opportunities.

In developing our new brand, we’ve chosen a daring new look with vibrant colors, fonts, and imagery to reflect the daring, diversity, and uniqueness of the career paths today’s young professionals are navigating. The old Vault and Firsthand brands focused on the idea of vaulting ahead to a narrow definition of career success, like getting your foot in the door at a prestigious firm and working your way up to partner. With our new brand, we’re widening our perspective to recognize that the path to success is rarely straight and that there are many ways to define success.

The swirling arrow in our new badge depicts career paths as they most often appear: non-linear. It also swirls in the shape of an “F” to represent Firsthand, our new name. We’ll be keeping Vault as a sub-brand for Vault Rankings and for Vault Law, but for everything else, we’ll be Firsthand. In our rebranding effort, we went through hundreds of potential new names for the combined Vault and Firsthand business. In the end, we landed where we started, recognizing that what united Vault and Firsthand and made us unique was our ability to provide career seekers with a firsthand perspective.

With the release of our new career engagement platform, we’re formally bringing together the best of both worlds. From Vault, we’re bringing you the know-how: employer profiles, rankings, career guides, and more, expertly composed by our knowledgeable editors. From the old Firsthand, we’re bringing you the know-who: a market-leading mentoring and virtual networking solution where career seekers can connect one-on-one with the people who’ve been there and done that. Combined, it’s a solution powered by firsthand experiences. Vault’s content is based on responses from over 100,000 students and professionals surveyed annually. Our mentoring and networking tools give anyone, no matter their background, access to the information and connections that make a successful career journey. 

But it’s not just about bringing together the know-how and the know-who, it’s about the know-you. The defining feature of the new platform is that we give every student, alum, and career seeker a personalized curation of the best career resources, mentors, and events for them to explore based on their career goals and preferences. The world out there, and even our own collection of resources and mentors, can be daunting. We want to take career seekers from “yikes” to “psyched” about their careers. Knowledge is power and with the new Firsthand, we’re putting the power squarely in the hands of career seekers so that they can find their best next step.

Lastly, I’d like to thank the following people for their hard work and perseverance in making today’s launch a reality: Shelley Awe, Subhojit B, Peter Barmykov, Chase Body, Nikola Bucic, Aaron Bunge, Pamela Byrd, Sean Byrd, Callie Castles, Jim Chambers, Caleb Chao, Nimisha CJ, Jolene Deslisle, Beth Ellard, Patrick Essien, Jessica Feldman, Anthony Fernandez, Scott Fleming, Bethany Gaich, Marisol Gonzales, Brad Gray, Erin Hagy, Kristan Halpern, Denise Henderson, Lisa Hill, Kari Houle, Jim Housley, Kristin Hungerford, Ben Jacobs, Sai ram Kalluru, Elias Kardous, Chelsea Kim, Jena Klein, Sreedhar Kondagunta, Sarah Kuhn, Preethan Kumar, Sandhya L, Alyssa Laessig, Craig Leinoff, Derek Loosvelt, Kesavamuthu M, Stephan Maldonado, Kaitlin McManus, Prasanna Nayani, Leslie Nazarian, Devorah Nechamkin, Court O'Connell, Lawrence O'Toole, Gyanaranjan Ojha, Alexander Pereira, Chris Plapp, Dan Powell, Tawnee Rozier-Byrd, Amabel Ryan, Angelica Samuel, Kwesi Sansculotte, Zina Scarpulla, Amanda Shea, Frank Siano, Ajey Simha, Paul Skordilis, Sarah Sprinkle, Katelyn Taylor, Alex Tuttle, Thiyagarajan V, Henrietta Verma, Roopesh VK, Ranson Vorpahl, Travis Whitsitt, Tara Williams, Roman Yakovenko, Kumar Yerakali, Andrey Zhila, and Mark Zielinski.

Fredrik Marø
Founder & General Manager