Howell Alumni: Ben Christensen


Ben Christensen graduated from Howell High School in 2010. Following that, he attended Michigan Tech, where he graduated in 2014. Christensen then went on to found Handshake with a few other people. According to their website, “Handshake is a modern career services management platform enabling career centers to empower students to efficiently connect with employers and launch their dream career.” Christensen is now in the position as director of products. He resides in Palo Alto, California.

What classes at HHS were beneficial to you?
“I took AP English with Ms. Hosner, that had a big impact on me. I also took Psychology 1, 2, and AP Psych. These classes changed the way I looked at things.”

What teacher(s) significantly helped you?

“I took Spanish with Mr. Riordan. He had a big impact on me, not just because of Spanish, but because his outlook on things was really awesome.”

What connections did HHS help you make?

“The fact that I could take a programming class in ninth grade got me interested in this kind of stuff [programing]. That led me to make connections in my field.”

What is your favorite memory from HHS?

“My favorite memory was just spending time with friends. There was a lot of different kinds of cool activities for us to do together.”

Do you have any advice for current highlanders?

“Don’t underestimate what you can actually do. You don’t have to wait until you’re out in the real world to make your dreams happen.”

Handshake’s goal is to provide a reliable and relatively affordable service for students, to eliminate difficulties in connecting to employers and career services, and ultimately to help them obtain their dream job. Christensen was able to take his education and experiences gained at HHS, and expand them to create both a successful business and a much needed service.