Innovation

Innovation

Miles Munz

Photo: Lisa Godfry

Virtual Face Time

DENISON UNIVERSITY’S OFFICE OF CAREER SERVICES typically advises students to explore its resources as early as their first year on campus, but at least some time before their final senior semester. Although Miles Munz ‘02 learned the wisdom of that advice the hard way, the lesson led him to develop a high-tech tool for job seekers everywhere and launch his own business.

With a month left before graduation, Munz was preparing for his first job interview at an insurance company. He contacted Denison’s Career Services in hopes of setting up a practice interview, but found he was one of the many seniors dealing with the job crunch.

So Munz went into his first interview completely unprepared. The first question began with a curveball. “He said, ‘Tell me more about yourself,’” Munz recalls, “I hesitated because I had no idea how to respond. That question threw me off, and the rest of my interview flopped.”

Frustrated, Munz then sent a hard copy of his resumé to every CEO at every Fortune 100 Company. When he didn’t get a single response, Munz decided to do something different. This time, he emailed his resumé complete with an attached self-recorded interview that had six questions along with Munz’s answers. He received six responses in as many days. Munz at that point realized that the interview is the real tool in getting a job and “the idea for the company just sparked.” At that moment, his new company, RezFuzion, was conceived.

Munz contacted long-time friend Randy Bitting, a 2002 graduate of the College of Charleston. They became friends while playing ice hockey when they were 12 years old and even then, both knew they wanted to start up a company together. Ten years later, they created a video-based software application that develops interviewing skills and even stores interviews for counselors and potential employers to review online.

Munz and Bitting began their work by outlining and writing code for the software. In the summer of 2004, the Wharton Small Business Development Program at the University of Pennsylvania provided Munz and Bitting with MBA student consultants to help them design a business plan. They then received help from Ben Franklin Technology Partners (BFTP) at Lehigh University, which provides initial investment in early stage technology companies, as well as inexpensive office space and resources in its Ben Franklin Business Incubator Center.

The RezFuzion interviewing system gives job seekers the ability to record their sample interviews from any computer. Users begin with career profiles that indicate for example, when they can start, whether they would be willing to travel, and so forth. They then select questions they would like to be asked by the virtual interviewer from three categories— accomplishments, career aspirations, and creativity— or they can choose RezFuzion’s randomly generated questions. A Web cam then records the user’s image during a mock interview process. A prerecorded businesswoman asks the selected questions and virtually interacts with the users by nodding her head while a response is given. When the question is finished, the users have the ability to review their response and either save and continue the interview or retry it.

RezFuzion software provides users the opportunity to customize and personalize the interview process, allowing companies to see the best qualities in potential candidates. “We capture an infinite moment by allowing both the prospective candidate and employer to conduct an interview on their own time, regardless of geographic location,” Munz says.

RezFuzion’s offerings include a software package that allows students of its partner universities to record sample questions on their home computers. Once they are satisfied, users can email their resumé along with their recorded answers to employers. This fall, Munz and Bitting hope to release that software to non-college students and “any user will be able to practice his interview and send it to employers worldwide,” Munz explains.

RezFuzion software provides users the opportunity to customize and personalize the interview process, allowing companies to see the best qualities in potential candidates. “We capture an infinite moment by allowing both the prospective candidate and employer to conduct an interview on their own time, regardless of geographic location,” Munz says.

By May of 2005, RezFuzion had $500,000 invested and just as much in revenue, along with an investment approval by BFTP. Forty-one universities, including London Business School, Purdue University, and University of Maryland, are currently partnered with the company. Munz adds, “The client base has grown almost 300 percent since May. We anticipate 75 to100 university partners by the end of this year.” The software has achieved a 92 percent approval rating from the 4,000 students who have used it thus far. Munz hopes that will increase to 30,000 by the end of the year.

Despite a phenomenal growth rate, it appears RezFusion’s niche centers on larger institutions that have high student-to-career counselor ratios. According to Ryan Brechbill, associate director of career services at Denison, “RezFuzion’s product is great, and we definitely considered it, but at this point, Denison’s career services can accommodate our students’ practice interview requests.”

Three other start-up companies are now providing competition, proving that there is a definite market for Munz and Bitting’s creation. Nevertheless, the future looks good. With a 12-month lead over its competitors, RezFuzion now has the attention of major companies.

Among RezFusion’s first corporate partners is Enterprise Rent-A-Car, which has been noted as one of the largest college recruiters in the country. Enterprise will use the online interviewing system to assist in their recruitment efforts at RezFuzion’s participating universities. “As students go through the mock interview process, Enterprise can give them personalized feedback, allowing the company to put its name out on a campus as well as the opportunity to talk to potential students for hire,” explains Group Recruiting Manager Dylan Schweitzer.

Ironically, Munz says, “Enterprise Rent-A-Car was one of the companies I targeted in my initial employment quest.” He hopes to eventually take on the retail sector by providing RezFuzion software to companies like Wal-Mart, Target, and Home Depot.

Right now though, he and Bitting are more concerned about students since they are the reason for the software’s genesis. Munz believes that students lose creativity and focus prior to graduation because they are expected to start paying off bills and loans while attending graduate schools or working. With RezFuzion, he believes students can become more focused and confident in interviews, alleviating some pressures. “When we were younger, Randy and I wanted to do something above what was expected,” Munz says. It would seem that while the RezFuzion duo exceeds their own expectations, they are helping others do the same.


Siân Martin ‘06 is an English writing major from Greensburg, Pa., and an editorial assistant for this magazine.

Published November 2020