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Brian Sirkia Class of ’12.5

Graduation Year: 2012.5

Job Title: Co-founder, Rocket Listings

Current City: Burlington, Vermont

Email: bsirkia@gmail.com

Current Job Description: Right now I’m working on a startup, Rocket Listings, with my co-founders, Nat Kelner, ’12.5 and Teddy Knox, ’12.5 in Burlington, Vermont. Rocket Listings (www.rocketlistings.com) is a faster and better way to sell used items on Craigslist or any other online classified. We’re aiming to have the site up and live before the end of the summer.

We’re also doing some web and startup consulting part-time, mainly for companies in Vermont, as well as managing a summer web development internship program in Burlington, called the Burlington Code Factory. We have 6 interns from Middlebury, UVM, and Champlain College, working on Rocket and a number of other projects for clients.

What do you do on a daily basis at your job/project?

Varies depending on the day. Between working on Rocket and the consulting jobs, any given day might involve going on sales calls, meeting with clients, talking with investors, writing business plans, doing product and design work on the site, and of course programming the site itself.

Describe your work environment (independent research, working in groups or teams, etc.)

We have an awesome office at the corner of Church and Main in downtown Burlington and a very young and energetic crew (Nat and I are the oldest at 23). Throughout the course of developing a site, we collaborate to plan the tech stack, UX, site architecture, and dev roadmap. We all generally work individually while developing but often pair up to solve particularly challenging problems.

Are you pursuing any other projects? (taking a class, volunteering, teaching yourself a new skill, training your puppy, etc.) 

At the moment I’m just focused on getting Rocket off the ground, paying the bills through the consulting work, and a couple other tech projects.

How did you get involved in PCI as a student?

I took MiddCORE for my first J-term at Middlebury because it was the kind of unique challenge I wanted from a J-term course.

What did you learn from your PCI involvement?

My PCI involvement taught me that there are a lot of upsides to taking on risk and uncertainty in your professional/academic career, even if you feel compelled to follow a more tried and true path.

How did your experience with PCI fit in with your larger Middlebury experience and education?

The best part of being in PCI was constantly being able to take on new and exciting challenges, which was the perfect supplement to the Middlebury education. It also opened up career options that I wouldn’t have considered otherwise.

What are some unexpected challenges you’ve had in your post-graduation pursuits? (or your current job) What are some pleasant surprises?

I think all of the challenges have been expected and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how fun and exciting it is to strike out on your own.

Where do you see yourself going in the future (back to school, to another location, staying at your current company, etc.)

Ideally I’ll be able to continue working for myself on projects that I’m excited about.

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