The Final Round was born during the job market collapse of the COVID-19 pandemic.
AJ Eckstein wanted to step in and help so he posted on LinkedIn mentioning that he was available as a career coach. He ended up getting so busy to the point where was working full time. However, as much as he loved coaching students and professionals 1:1, he realized the real problem was the inadequate career resources on the market. He began on his mission to democratize fun, tailored, and high-quality career advice.
AJ took a step back from career coaching (after personally coaching 200+ hours and helping countless candidates land jobs) to start a free career platform that could impact tens of thousands of job-seekers globally.
A common pain point that he saw was that candidates could not advance past “the final round” interview. So he began by starting a career podcast called “The Final Round” and decided to interview the people that candidates have trouble outreaching to, bridging the gap and making the advice from decision-makers more accessible (AKA Recruiters and Hiring Managers).
The podcast gained so much traction that AJ realized there was a bigger play here beyond just a podcast. He started brainstorming ways to impact even more job-seekers, and thought about creating videos, blogs, a newsletter, and more…
And that’s how The Final Round™ was born.
With over 15,000 followers on LinkedIn, 1,000,000 content views, and 20 career podcast guest appearances, he has amassed a following that trusts his career advice. He was also selected by UCLA to become a professional career coach and invited by LinkedIn to become a LinkedIn Learning Instructor and join the LinkedIn Creators Program.
He previously founded Career Coaching Company, a startup that helps individuals land top jobs through 1:1 tailored coaching from recent grads at top companies. Since the company’s inception, Eckstein has coached over 200 hours with students and professionals and has personally helped over 125 individuals land top jobs.
Regarding industry experience, Eckstein works in Strategy & Consulting at Accenture, the world’s largest consulting firm. As the Buddy Program and Sell Events Lead for the University of Southern California, AJ provides program-wide support to over 20,000 undergrads. Eckstein previously interned at 5 companies including Fortune 100 companies and tech startups.
His most notable internships include the Business Leader Rotation Program at The Walt Disney Company and a Business Strategy & Operation Internship at TeleSign (a CPaaS company that was acquired for $230M).
Eckstein graduated from USC Marshall School of Business with a major in Business Administration and a double minor in Spanish and Digital Entrepreneurship in the Viterbi School of Engineering. He was awarded the “Most Outstanding President Award” and the “Diversity and Inclusion Award” out of 20,000 undergraduate students for his efforts in relaunching the Latino Business Student Association (LBSA).
It is very difficult for him to choose his favorite episode of The Final Round Podcast since he has truly enjoyed hosting every guest that has been on the show. However, the most special episode has to be episode #1 with Bruce Smolen, a Talent Acquisition Senior Specialist at BCG. On top of the golden career nuggets from Bruce, how can you not love the first guest that believed in the show since inception?
It was through this experience that she discovered her passion for combining tech with creative fields like marketing and what has now influenced her to pursue both computer science and marketing. She now holds 3 years of experience in digital marketing having previously served in the roles of Director of Marketing and co-founder of student startup Releaf, social media intern/content creator for Declassified Media, and grant recipient of the non-profit organization GripTape.
Sophia is currently a 2nd year studying computer science at the University of London and is in pursuit of her New York Real Estate License. Outside of these roles, Sophia enjoys investing in the stock market and learning more about new developments in Web3 and the creator economy. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, photography (of said travels), and spending time outdoors.
Her favorite episode of The Final Round Podcast is Episode 15 with McKinsey & Company's Affinity Recruiter, Erika Love.
Being an International Student from Vietnam, Chris is an advocate for International Students and underrepresented/non-traditional students in business. After UCLA, Chris will be joining Bain & Company as an Associate Consultant in their San Francisco office.
In his free time, Chris enjoys semi-competitive Super Smash Ultimate tournaments with friends and going on food adventures.
His favorite episode of The Final Round Podcast is Episode 17 with Gorick Ng.
When interning at China Custom Manufacturing, Sam discovered her love for gaining in depth knowledge of the various industries which made her transition to the career and EdTech space.
She is currently a Freshman studying Business Economics at UCLA with an interest in Consulting. At UCLA, she is a member of UConsulting, a business organization that focuses on professional development in Management Consulting. In her free time, she enjoys listening to new beats, playing chamber music with fellow musicians, hiking, and reading.
Her favorite episode of The Final Round Podcast is Episode 18 with Bain and McKinsey Recruiting Lead, Leah Frank.
Devon is an Incoming Summer Business Analyst at McKinsey and Company, the Co-Founder and CEO of a nationwide student organization, Bridging the Gap (BTG) Consulting, and the recipient of McKinsey’s Global Achievement Award.
Devon is a 2nd year student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he is exploring his passions through a Business Administration major and a minor in Economic and Social Inequality. In his free time, Devon enjoys Real Estate and stock market investing, snowboarding, and watching the T.V. Show SWAT!
His favorite episode of The Final Round Podcast is the one he co-hosted — Episode 15 with McKinsey’s North American Diversity Recruiter, Erika Love!
He is also a Student Consultant at Bridging the Gap (BTG) Consulting. Walter is a first-year student at the University of North Carolina, where he is studying Economics and Computer Science with a minor in French with an interest in the intersection of business and technology. On-campus, Walter is a member of the Black Student Movement and the UNC Initiative on Poverty and Inequality, where he works to help underprivileged high school students in Chapel Hill, NC. In his free time, Walter enjoys cooking, traveling, trying new restaurants, and watching documentaries.
His favorite episode of The Final Round Podcast is episode 19 with Walmart's MBA Campus Recruiting Manager, Benjy Spiro.
Her previous experience lies in working at internet software startups and as a research assistant to a professor. She has lived in China, Sweden, and the U.S., and now leads The Women’s Network-Syracuse as the president, helping women from all backgrounds, from international to STEM, to build connections and develop professionally. In her spare time, she enjoys reading non-fiction, café/boba hopping, H.I.I.T., and exploring cross-cultural connections.
“Ep. 8: Facebook: Recruiter, Niki Woodall,” is her favorite episode of the TFR Pod because Niki offers an interesting perspective on recruiting, likening it to “dating.”
Currently in his fourth year at the University of Cincinnati, Joshua consistently seeks to feed his steadfast curiosity for all things business while also spearheading the challenge to remain both creatively and analytically sound through majoring in Entrepreneurship and minoring in Economics and Marketing.
Outside of his educational and professional initiatives, you can find Joshua abiding in hobbies such as running, reading, content creation, laughing, fashion, and exploring new places! His favorite episode on TFR is episode #12 with Recruiting Ninja and Talent Advisor Megan O’Meara from LinkedIn.
Bryan is currently a Sophomore at Babson College, where he is a Presidential Scholar, member of the Honors Program, and goaltender for the Men’s Varsity Lacrosse team. He works as Peer Mentor for students as part of Babson’s world-renowned freshman entrepreneurship course, Foundations of Management and Entrepreneurs.
He previously worked as co-founder and content manager of Patriot Packs, an apparel company donating 25% of all profits to local and national veteran/first-responder organizations.
In his free time, he enjoys watching hockey, trying new restaurants, and spending time with friends and family.
His favorite episode of The Final Round Podcast is Episode 20 with a former PepsiCo Lead Recruiter, Daniel Botero.
Brian is also an Investment Banking Analyst at Bank of America, The Vice President of Finance for the Asian Business Student Association (ABSA), and a Student Consultant at the nationwide student organization, Bridging the Gap (BTG).
Brian is currently a sophomore studying Finance and Accounting at the University of Houston with an interest in the consulting and financial services industry. In his free time, Brian enjoys weightlifting, reading, and making YouTube videos on his channel @Brian Ariyo.
His favorite episode of the Final Round Podcast is Episode 1 with Bruce Smolen, a TA Senior Specialist at BCG.
Isabella is in her fourth year at UCLA where she studies Psychology, Entrepreneurship, and Community Engagement and Social Change. She enjoys being involved in various communities, such as being a peer counselor for fellow UCLA students, coordinator for an annual high school conference promoting the importance of higher education, and local hospital volunteer.
Outside of academics, Isabella enjoys dancing, running, volunteering, mentoring, and traveling to new areas in Los Angeles!
Her favorite episode of The Final Round Podcast is Episode 16 with Recruiter Nicole Fernandez-Valle, at Royal Caribbean.
Through this experience, Savant helped us get ready for the launch of our course on AI and the Job Search. Specifically, he used his AI and prompt engineering expertise to build user personas, plan a market strategy, research common job-seeker pain points, and many more! Prior to the TFR, Savant gained diverse experience through several internships and projects in consulting, financial services, IT healthcare, higher education, and the non-profit sector. He most recently interned at Accenture where he helped developed several business use cases for metaverse banking. During his time at Wake Forest, Savant led several strategic initiatives to improve access to university resources for over 5k college students. Before graduating from Wake Forest, he launched a student career peer advising program from scratch to help college students launch their careers.
In his free time, Savant loves to play basketball, go to the gym, hangout with friends, and is a huge fan of the Miami Heat, MCU, and Star Wars.
His favorite episode is Episode 12 with LinkedIn’s Megan O’Meara!
The problem: traditional career content is boring and generic.
People who are sharing this career advice are not credible when they really should be company decision-makers (such as Recruiters and Hiring Managers).
The solution: fun, tailored, and high-quality career advice from real decision-makers.
All of our content is derived from real decision makers and experts that we interview on our podcast.
The guests we have on the show are the people that candidates have trouble outreaching to since they are too busy. We bridge the gap and make the advice from decision-makers more accessible.
We strive to achieve our mission
Our mission is to democratize fun, tailored, and high-quality career advice.
We work with everyone
Regardless of where you come from, we will help get you to where you want to go. We have helped people from all backgrounds, levels of education, and experiences.
We are driven by passion
We will do whatever it takes to help you advance past the final round interview and land your dream job. Passion is what keeps us going to help more job-seekers.
We teach with integrity
We hold our initiatives to the highest standard of excellence within their respective industries.
We aim to beat the odds
Whether you come from a non-target school, lack the proper work experience, or can’t meet the firm’s target GPA, we will find workarounds and help make you a qualified candidate for the position.
We prioritize results
There is a reason why we have been able to help so many job-seekers turn into knockout stories. Are you ready to get added to that winning list?
Are you an ambitious and passionate individual looking to make an impact in the career and EdTech space?
Our Team is a hungry, dedicated group that aims to achieve our mission to democratize fun, tailored, and high-quality career advice. You’ll work with us to help grow The Final Round and make an even bigger impact with job-seekers.