Photo by StartupStockPhotos / CC0
Junior Paul Maloney (C ‘19) did whatever he could to get into the Ivy League. He knew admissions were competitive, and simply having good grades and a high SAT score wouldn’t automatically grant him admission. While browsing through PrepScholar, he read a guide that claimed it would guarantee admission into some of the top schools in the US. Intrigued, Maloney read it and followed every step.
He created a hip new startup that was a crowdsourced way to choose your own driver, or “Tinder for Uber” as he called it. Since he was a determined, Type A, business-minded hustler, he called up a few of his more technically inclined friends to code the app, after which they were promised equity and experience for their resume.
Like many of his friends, Maloney shut down his company as soon as he got into Penn. It was no longer useful to keep the app alive, and Maloney destroyed all evidence of the company except for a website with fake testimonials, in case future employers would inquire about his startup. But disaster struck this spring, when Maloney was rejected from all 45 internship positions he interviewed for. While initially disappointed, he quickly regained his enthusiasm when he realized that his plans for this summer were already made. Maloney would go back to starting companies and creating social change like the entrepreneur he knew he always was. This would practically guarantee him and internship next summer—he knew that hiring managers loved seeing college students with the proactivity and motivation to develop their own projects.
So, armed with a Codecademy HTML tutorial and a few website templates, Paul Maloney set off to take on the world, one plagiarized app idea at a time.