With $10,000 on the line, interviews with top Atlanta executives, and a drool-worthy travel itinerary around the city, students from across the nation frenzied to apply to the Ultimate Job Interview Contest. Orchestrated by Choose ATL, a regional marketing campaign ignited by the Metro Atlanta Chamber, the three-round event was created to recruit and retain the country’s brightest talent to the Empire City of the South. Today, its winner was announced – Austin Mueller, a Marketing major at the University of Georgia.
“Austin presented himself as a really vivacious character who has a lot of passion. His self-starter, pull-yourself-by-your-bootstraps kind of mentality helped him build a company around the age of 12 and sell it later,” said juror Peter Franconi, Regional Director of General Assembly. “He has gone on to achieve a lot of entrepreneurial feats since then, and if he chooses Atlanta to be the place to establish his career, I know he will go on to do great things in the startup community here.”
Mueller competed in the final, shark-tank style round against Karina Liles (second place), a Ph.D. student at the University of South Carolina, and Chris Triplett (third place), a Film and Video graduate from Georgia State University. The pitch event was judged by a panel of executives from General Assembly, SPANX, PGI, The Home Depot and Cardlytics.
“The Ultimate Job Interview Contest was an opportunity to attract new eyes and talent on Atlanta, and share why it is such a special place to make your mark,” said Kate Atwood, VP of Marketing, Metro Atlanta Chamber, who noted that the contest was the first, true activation of the Choose ATL mission.
“If you come to Atlanta and you hustle, not only can you succeed but you will also be around people who will help you succeed. I think that culture is what the Ultimate Job Interview Contest brings to light.”
Mueller has been an entrepreneur since a preteen when he started Austin’s Lawns, a business that won him “Entrepreneur of Georgia” from the Chamber of Commerce at 18. At 20, he sold the business. Since then he established Bravado Branding, where, as President and Marketing Director, he helps students, professionals, and startups brand themselves on a budget.
“You look at Atlanta and you just see the possibilities,” said Mueller after his big win. “What I see with Atlanta is that it is more than a place to make a living, it is a place to make a life. Anyone who gets transplanted here from another state, another country, they always want to say.”