Our Grand mission

Is to bridge the gap between education and the real-world.

Work experiences
Industry partners

Our mission

Grand Company and Grandshake exist to help our young people figure out what's next BEFORE they leave school.

Some are lucky enough to walk out with a certificate and a passion for exactly what they want to do in life. Many more have no idea, and that’s ok. There’s nothing wrong with taking extra time to find a career pathway that fits. But when thousands of students are racking up HECS debt by diving into a university course they’re not suited to, or slaving away in a career that’s not what they expected, then we have a problem.

We are a Brisbane-based EdTech Startup challenging the status quo by daring our educators and partners to be  responsible for guiding our next generation. Our drive to solve this critical problem has led us to this point: Help us give our kids something real - a connection, an experience, workplace skills - before we send them out into a rapidly changing workforce.

What we do

Grand Company and Grandshake exist to help our young people figure out what's next BEFORE they leave school.

We work with schools, employers and parents to give thousands of Australian students the skills and experience they’ll need for the workforce, now and into the future. Through Grandshake we help schools offer high-quality career education and build strategic long-term partnerships with employers and other key stakeholders.

We recognise that every part of the school community can affect a young person’s ability to find the best way to kick start their career. That’s why we work with our schools to develop a whole-school career education strategy that lasts well beyond work experience.

How we do it

Grandshake collaborates with Australian high schools and national and multinational employers...

...to give students virtual work experience, career education and mentoring opportunities that really work for them. It’s all available right here on our platform and designed from the ground up to cater to students’ needs and desires, not just fill in time or finish off tasks the intern doesn’t want to do.

On our platform, schools can offer meaningful career experiences for their students, not just a book full of jobs or a week in a random office making cups of tea. Our team of certified career practitioners, psychologists and educators work together with schools and businesses to develop comprehensive, evidence-based career education virtual work experience, career guidance and virtual industry tours, all aligned with the requirements of the Australian Qualifications Framework.

How did it all start

Two young people sit in a room, perfectly happy. That is until their mobile phones are taken away, at which point everything changes…

When the mobile devices were taken away both young people immediately became extremely anxious and instead of communicating with each other, chose to remain agitated.

Look around and you’ll see the research was just one example of a wider global phenomenon visible every day on the bus, at home and in the workplace: people struggle to form social connections because they are so attached to their devices.

These social interactions are what make us human. They build the foundations of basic human skills, and have an enormous influence on our happiness and mental health. If the next generation is to thrive, it needs to experience and embrace these meaningful experiences early to develop essential social and communication skills.

We first launched The Grand Student Survey in 2017 to help us understand and develop a solution to the growing gap between education and the real world. From this, we built Grandshake to connect students, schools and industry and help build the real-world skills our young people need to confidently pursue life after high school.

Who is Dhawal?

Dhawal Nayak, our founder and CEO, is the perfect example of ‘Generation Next’: a cohort set to work across more industries and professions than any before.

Since leaving school, Dhawal has run an internet cafe, worked as an assistant nurse, completed a motor mechanic trade and worked as a diesel fitter. That led to marine engineering, managing a sand quality assurance lab and now his second start-up, Grand Company. Now he’s working to help young people, not to follow in his footsteps but to make their own.

Discover your what's next, now!

Join our exclusive virtual work experiences and upskilling microprograms.