Emplify CEO Jaramillo shares advice with students

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Santiago Jaramillo was more than happy to share his knowledge with Indiana high school students.

Jaramillo, 28, is CEO and co-founder of Fishers-based Emplify, a firm that helps companies measure employee engagement.

Jaramillo

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education, along with Roadtrip Nation and several education and business leaders, created a collaborative documentary exploring some of Indiana’s most in-demand fields. The one-hour film, called “State of Change,” is available at stateofchangefilm.com.

“It was interesting to get to share some of my career journey with students,” Jaramillo said. “I’ve always been shocked how little understanding of the right work-world that high schoolers have access to and what I thought I knew when I was in high school. It’s how big the business world is. There are so many different specializations. There are small companies, big companies, old companies and startups. There is such a great diversity out there. You’re just not exposed to that as a high school student.”

Jaramillo said it’s incredible the decisions high school students are making about their majors with such little understanding.

“I always thought it’s a great opportunity for us adults to get our game together on how we can better equip these young kids so they can make more informed decisions,” said Jaramillo, who said he benefited from mentors and that he wants to give back.

Jaramillo, an Indianapolis resident, said he was happy to share what it’s like to be in software, and what it is like to be a small company and work in Fishers. He was interviewed by three students.

“One of the kids was from Mexico and spoke great English and talked about bullying, not fitting in and how that can be a difficult thing,” Jaramillo said. “He and I connected on that level because the immigrants’ journey has some patterns to it. You look and sound a little different, at least I did when I came to the states (from Colombia) when I was 10 years old. Anyone who looks or sounds different is picked on by little kids. You kind of lose or hide anything about you that is related to your ethnicity or background, essentially just trying to fit in.”

Jaramillo said immigrants typically later go back and realize they are proud of where they came from.

“That was my favorite part, encouraging this kid, that it gets easier,” he said.

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