As a creative, visual person, Flores MBA Alumna Nora Moore has always been frustrated with the job search process. Like many creatives, she feels she can’t express her true self through a resume full of bullet points. Over time, as her kids got older and more creative, Moore realized that if traditional job sites didn’t resonate with her as a Gen X’er they definitely wouldn’t resonate with her Gen Z boys.
Fast forward to last year and the rise of TikTok. During Covid, so many people were out of work, and a lot of creativity was being channeled into TikTok, which quickly caught Moore’s attention. It was then that she started creating the first sketches of GigOut. Moore combined her favorite pieces of social media to create a new kind of job app with fun, creative features like video resumes. GigOut’s mission is to encourage users to put their genuine selves out there, so employers truly know the breadth of skills and personality of the people they hire.
Recently, we got the chance to speak with Moore to learn more about GigOut and how her MBA helped her to enter the tech world.
- Since GigOut is a fairly new app, explain what stage you are at in production right now.
Right now, GigOut is an MVP app, which is a minimum viable product. With this type of app, you put out the basic features that you think your app could have to gauge what your audience wants to get out of it. This is the type of app people build when funding is limited, and you can’t build out all the bells and whistles just yet. You start with what you need to get it off the ground in hopes of building a relevant community. I’ve reached out personally to a lot of people in my network to be our beta users. These users give us valuable feedback on things like aesthetic and usability to let us know if we are on the right track. Then, once we get more funding, we’ll move into the build-up for the employers.
- How did you find a developer to work with when creating GigOut?
Initially, I sat at my kitchen table and did the first drawings while my kids were doing their homework. As the pieces came together, I vetted developers to help bring my vision to life. I wanted someone who really got my vision and who knew social media well. During the vetting process, I did a deep dive on the designing aspect of an app and I used all the resources that I thought would be helpful for GigOut. I looked on YouTube, Instagram, I watched tech talks, and then I started learning the elements that were important- what made people download an app and what would make people leave an app.
So, I vetted probably 20 different people, and I ended up with a developer that’s literally 30 miles from me in Los Angeles. I felt like this person had some passion about what I was doing and it wasn’t about just building another app.
- Explain your experience so far as a woman in the tech industry.
I thought since I had worked in a lot of male-dominated spaces that I had an idea of the tech atmosphere. But as I got deeper into it, and started fundraising, I saw this statistic that in 2020 only 2.3% of venture capital funding went to women led ventures. I seriously thought I read it wrong. I quickly realized that I was in for an uphill battle. I’ve been really fortunate so far though to connect with some great people over the years who are good mentors guiding me, so the experience hasn’t been too bad so far. One of my mentors, Lenny Saizan, is actually an LSU alum and has been invaluable in helping me navigate the fundraising process. I am realistic though and I do understand what lies ahead, and I get frustrated when I see these panels about entrepreneurship and fundraising and they’re all men. I see the logistics of how successful women led companies are and I’m just waiting on the rest of the world to catch up.
- Do you think getting your MBA prepared you to dive into the process of creating an app?
When I entered the Flores MBA Program, I was a mom blogger who wrote about things like diapers, and I remember looking at the class roster and getting nervous when I saw all CEOs and vice presidents of big corporations and brands. But one big lesson I took away from the Flores MBA Program was just to be confident and know what you have to offer. The program really helped me to believe in myself and by the end of it, I was so confident in my abilities.
I’ve always felt like I had a natural knack for business and marketing, but I like having formal education. It helped make me more well-rounded. One of the biggest opportunities I got out of the Flores MBA Program was the international trip to Brazil. We did a joint program with students from ESPM, where we worked with their students to create a product for their target market in Brazil. This exercise truly gave me more of a global perspective. I realized that a marketing campaign that would work well in the United States could seem stale to the people of Brazil.
Overall, I used my confidence to enter the tech world, then tapped into my global perspective when building GigOut to really keep our specific target market in mind. I can definitely say the Flores MBA Program helped to prepare me for this journey in tech as a woman.
- The definition of professionalism has evolved over the years depending on your industry. Explain why it’s important for people to present themselves on GigOut creatively while maintaining a level of professionalism.
Historically, we tend to take on the personality or fit into the box of these social constructs of current social media platforms. With GigOut, I want people to feel free to express who they are. Although, we do stress that this is a job app. In that sense, users shouldn’t be wild like some are on other apps. Whatever professionalism means to you, stay inside that box, but create your own box. We don’t want to dictate what that box is for users or force people to feel like they have to button up. Too often, employers put people through a huge vetting process, and they think they know exactly who they’re getting in an employee, but once hired, the person turns out to be someone completely different.
The LSU Flores MBA Program provides you with a flexible path to advance your career. Our nationally ranked program currently administers a traditional, two-year, full-time program, a one-year, full-time program for business majors, a part-time online (no residency requirement) program, and an Executive MBA Flex. For more information, visit mba.lsu.edu.