UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Finding a tech job can be a hassle, let alone finding one in another country. One Penn State alumnus hopes to make the international search easier for job seekers, though.
Eric Fung has helped launch a startup, HackAbroad.com, which serves as a central location to assist tech professionals as they try to connect with employers in other countries who sponsor work visas.
The site, which launched in mid-December and was co-founded by Fung, is easily navigable, allowing users to search job listings by keyword, location and job type. Available positions include all types of IT jobs, including sales, programming and internships.
“When you look around now, people usually assume that technology is coming from New York or Silicon Valley,” said Fung, who earned his degree in advertising/public relations in 2010. “But, the truth is, the tech ecosystem is really booming worldwide. A lot of people love to travel and a lot of people love to experience new countries. So my goal is to get as many people stamping their passport as possible and really experiencing the world outside of the United States through their jobs.”
Fung, a New York native, moved to California’s Silicon Valley a couple of years after graduating from Penn State because that’s where many tech companies were based.
The idea for the site came about when Fung’s co-founder’s cousin, who is from Vietnam, was having trouble finding a tech job in the United States.
“It was kind of a no-brainer for us to try to tackle this issue,” said Fung. “The two major obstacles in getting hired abroad, or in any country for that matter, is one, obtaining visa sponsorship, and two, finding companies that actually offer them.”
Fung, who spent the first couple years following graduation in New York City in advertising jobs, has always enjoyed the IT and tech world. So, he got into software sales and worked for tech giants like Oracle and EMC. He also played key roles in building business teams at various startups. Fung uses the creativity he learned and practiced as a Penn State undergraduate to complement his IT positions.
“I would say Penn State really built a foundation for me. I made some of my best friends there. I received a great education. All of the lessons that I learned there really shaped who I am today, both personally and professionally. It really has a special place in my heart,” said Fung.
For HackAbroad, Fung takes care of business development and partnerships, while also managing the design of the website and front-end functionality.
Fung hopes the company, which makes its profit by having set fees for employers to post their listings on the site, becomes more of a communication tool between job seekers and employers in the future. Right now, the site uses feedback and suggestions to enhance its approach.
“It has actually been really great. We’re having a steady flow of signups every single day and receiving a lot of positive feedback and suggestions,” said Fung.