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Interview with an Executive: Advice from a Chief Technology Officer

By Emily Amjad - Hathaway Brown School - Ohio

As NextGenVest Global Ambassadors, students have the opportunity to speak with professionals in a diverse range of fields. I interviewed Bradley Rubin, CTO at FotoSwipe, a free app that allows users to share photos with people near them - and across platforms - with simply the swipe of a finger.

How long have you worked at FotoSwipe and what is your job title? 

I began working at FotoSwipe four months ago as contractor for iOS development, but now I am the Chief Technical Officer.

Can you walk me through what your job entails? What does your day look like?

I wrote all of the code used in Fotoswipe on the front end of things, so now I make sure everything is working without glitches on iOS systems. I also help brainstorm, design, and implement new features on a day-to-day basis. However, we are a small company of only three employees so I also have many opportunities to work outside of my formal title and still contribute to the greater good of the company.

What is the most challenging part of your job? The most rewarding? 

In a startup there are so many things to develop, countless possible directions for the company to take and it can be challenging to keep focus on a just a handful of those ideas and fully develop them. The most enjoyable part of my job is being able to see the sheer number of people I reach through the app. I wrote all of the iOS code and over one million photos have been swiped using that technology.

How did you get started in this field? Advice for students? 

I worked at two companies before FotoSwipe, as well as founding my own startup. I quickly realized that I preferred a smaller atmosphere and decided to return to graduate school to expand my skill set. One of the biggest things I learned from my own startup was that I couldn’t do everything on my own. I needed people I could delegate tasks to, I needed a great team to build something special. So, ask for help when you need it! To relate it back to my line of work, get involved now by interning locally, networking with people in your area, or even educating yourself about the fields that interest you.

Did you intern during high school or college? 

I interned at large company during college and that experience set me up well for my first job. I would suggest that, as a student, you try to figure what career you are interested in, as well as what size company you think you may want to work in. From there, look for an internship that fulfills those preferences.

I attended quite a few job fairs as an undergraduate and it can be hard to stand out when there are thousands in your same position. Try to stand out by engaging with your specific passions and look for people who have been successful in their careers pursuing those same interests.

What is one financial mistake you’ve made? Your One Piece of Advice for Students?

Throughout my life, I have had a lot of support, so I have not made any catastrophic mistakes, but I think that job offers can be tricky. Do not just look at the salary, there is much more to an actual job.

Follow Emily's NGV chapter on Instagram at @ngvhathawaybrown.