Homi: A Change in Social Networking

Chris Hornung '18

A couple of months ago I wrote a blog about Time Well Spent, a movement started by a former design ethicist at Google with the goal of changing the way software companies develop their apps and services. On a Time Well Spent webpage they highlight a list of apps that they think have consumers best interests in mind. I think their list is spot on. In fact, I use some of their recommended apps on a daily basis because I think they help me stay focused and be more productive. What I can’t help but notice though, is that they don’t include any social networks. One company I think fits the Time Well Spent mold well and deserves recognition is Homi. Homi stands for Humans of My Institution and is a tech startup based right out of St. Paul!  

Homi was started by Phil Xiao after he realized the impact his mentors had on his success in his education and career. Homi’s goal is to help college students develop meaningful relationships with professionals in their fields of study and industry to get them noticed, recruited, and placed in the careers of their dreams.

Homi is different than other recruiting and social networking sites. On Homi, you don’t need to try to “connect” to people you have never met from schools you have never heard of to try to get your foot in the door. Likewise, you don’t just throw your resume at a group of different companies hoping yours makes it to the top of the heap. When you sign up with Homi, you get connected to all other Homi users from your college, past and present. Homi puts you a click away from St. Thomas alumni that want to get to know and hire intelligent and motivated Tommies!

But what really stand outs out about Homi is that is really is about building relationships with others. It’s end goal is to help you find a career, but it does much more than that. It wants you to sit down and grab a coffee with an alumnus. It wants you to get out and get to know your peers at St. Thomas. In fact, Homi hosts a number of events around campus for St. Thomas students. Just this past year Phil and other Homi employees have spoken at numerous events about topics ranging from leadership, networking, and entrepreneurship. If you were around for freshman move-in day you probably saw Homi’s food truck! Homi wants to get students out and about and making connections!

Time Well Spent is a movement for mindful software design and although Homi has not yet been officially plugged by Tristan Harris, I think they have designed a company and platform completely in line with Time Well Spent’s vision. Homi is a social networking company that actually encourages you to be social! Can’t get much better than that.

For more information and tips on how to improve your relationship with technology visit the Tommies Unplugged webpage at stthomas.edu/wellness