Alice Lee, an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, is going to unprecedented lengths to get a job. On February 16 she launched "Dear Instagram," a site she designed to serve as a pitch-slash-resume-slash-love letter for the new age. In days, the site went viral.
Lee's attraction to Instagram comes as no surprise. She's interned at Microsoft and Foursquare, and she does freelance photography and design, often using Instagram as a tool. She tells The Atlantic Wire that she got the idea for her site while having lunch on campus with Charles Birnbaum and Eric Friedman, who work in business development for Foursquare. "Charles got into Foursquare really early on just pitching himself to the company," Lee said. "They mentioned that in general, it's always a lot more effective to kind of pitch yourself in a very specific way than to say I can do anything you want," she said. She was also inspired by past success stories, like that of Tristan Walker, who doggedly pursued a job at Foursquare until he got one.
Lee spent about three days creating a site to make her best case to Instagram, focusing on presenting the company with actual tasks she thought she could provide for them, like redesigning their site for developers. But she also polished their ego a bit: "I love what Instagram stands for. And I think your team is totally rad," she wrote.