Alpharetta Man Wins Ultimate Job Interview Contest
Alpharetta native Austin Mueller knew from a young age that he wanted to be an entrepreneur. He started small — walking his neighbors’ dogs, pruning bushes in his neighborhood and babysitting. After saving every penny earned from these odd jobs, Austin was able to purchase a lawn mower and started his first company when he was 12. Austin’s Lawns won the Chamber of Commerce’s Entrepreneur of Georgia award in 2011 and and was sold to an interested party in 2013.
Austin’s desire to lead followed him to Milton High School, where he was captain of the hockey team and participated in DECA, a club that encourages the development of entrepreneurship and leadership skills. During his time in high school, Austin enjoyed hanging out with friends at Taco Mac and Willis Park.
After graduating from Milton, he headed to college at the University of Alabama. He spent one year there before deciding to take advantage of Georgia’s HOPE scholarship and transferred to the University of Georgia. He is currently a senior with a major in marketing with an emphasis in digital sales.
While at UGA, he started his latest company, Bravado Branding. As CEO and Creative Director, Austin helps companies build brands through services including logo creation, website design, photography and videography. In his role, he heads Bravado’s social campaigns, lead generation, client relations, team management and marketing strategy.
Austin’s plans to return to Atlanta after graduation led him to enter ChooseATL’s Ultimate Job Interview Contest. In October 2015 he submitted a 90-second video about why he thinks Atlanta is a place that he can make his mark. To move forward, he leveraged his personal network and social savvy to earn enough online votes to become one of 10 semi-finalists.
At the next step, Austin wowed a panel of judges as he performed a five-minute virtual pitch session through PGI’s iMeet platform. His story resonated with the judges and earned him one of three spots as a finalist in the contest.
As a finalist, Austin was treated to an all expenses paid experience in the city, which included a stay at the W, a helicopter ride over Atlanta and dinner and networking with local business influencers. Austin presented before a live audience and panel of judges from PGI, General Assembly, Spanx, Cardlytics and The Home Depot for a possible future job at one of these companies and a $10,000 cash prize.
As part of his pitch, he shared how much his mother, Carolyn Distel, has impacted his life and ambition. She was younger than Austin is currently when she became a mother, and worked multiple jobs throughout his childhood to provide for them. Carolyn completed massage therapy school and has been successfully in business for 15 years. Austin expressed how much she has influenced him to always keep going and build something for himself.
A combination of Austin’s past success, excitement for the future and clear entrepreneurial spirit led the judges to crown him winner of the first annual Ultimate Job Interview Contest. He was awarded $10,000 which he will use to fully pay off his student loans and graduate from college debt free this year.
Austin currently visits Alpharetta at least once a month to see his family. While in town, he loves visiting the Avalon — particularly Pizza Antico and Kona. He ultimately hopes to start a few small businesses in the Atlanta area and help others do the same by creating an alternative post secondary education option for entrepreneurs.