Getting hired by Google or Facebook is a dream of many and Ruben Schultz (GISW Class of 2009) has worked for both! Along with his undergraduate degree in International Business (Maastricht University) and his graduate degree in Entrepreneurship & Sustainability (Erasmus University, Netherlands & ESADE, Business & Law School, Spain), his years at these two high-tech US companies laid a solid foundation for Ruben to join forces with a partner and to start their own business - Swoop. Three years ago, they decided to address the need of an overlooked industry that had not yet embraced technology and was still taking orders with pen and paper – the group transportation, shuttle and limo industry. These small operations are now taking advantage of digital possibilities with Swoop’s two main areas of support: convenient online booking and business development.
Many of the owners of these 3-4 vehicle operations are first generation immigrants who had not had the opportunity to get trained in technology for different reasons such as language barriers or their economic situation as they settled in the US and when immediate income generation was of higher urgency than career training. Ruben can empathize with them naturally because he has lived and studied in different countries. He is used to hearing many different accents and understands the fact that there are cultural differences without judging them in any way.
With a German mother and a Persian father, Ruben’s personal background is already culturally rich. When he was ten years old, his family moved from Germany to Potomac and even though he was not thrilled to leave his friends and familiar surroundings, he soon had a new circle of friends and graduated with the Abitur from DSW (now GISW) in 2009. Eight of his best friends to this day are from his years at GISW. What he appreciates most about our school is the small community where close relationships form among students who bring a variety of personal backgrounds and cultural experiences from all over the world. The tight network remains beneficial throughout life on a personal level and sometimes also on a professional level.
Ruben relishes his years at GISW: “They were some of the best years of my life!” His advice for current students: “Be patient, don’t pressure yourself too much about choosing the perfect career, you will see that over time the pieces will fall into place. Focus on the life skills you are learning such as tolerance, acceptance and appreciation of others, be prepared for class and study, but do not obsess about specific classes, teachers or your grades.”
At this point, Swoop serves transportation operators nationwide, even in the D.C. area. In COVID-19 times, they quickly reevaluated the business situation and redirected the transportation operators to now transport goods and groceries instead of transporting people. Next time you receive a delivery from a place like for example “Imperfect Foods” check out the vehicle and be on the lookout for the Swoop logo.