About Us

We’re not only experienced in the art of launching students and young professionals into flourishing careers, we’re also parents of millennials who have been, and are still going through, the process of building their own professional lives. So we have a unique perspective on what both parent and student are going through during this difficult transition, and the means to get everyone through to the other side successfully.

Lesley Mitler


In 2009, after more than 20 years as a successful executive recruiter, Lesley Mitler founded Priority Candidates and shifted her focus from placing established professionals to helping recent college graduates transition into careers. Since she had so much experience placing senior level executives, she was uniquely poised to advise younger applicants on how to look at their career in the long term—helping them navigate the many steps it takes to get to the top. Lesley graduated from Duke University with a BA in management science and accounting, and started her career as a CPA.


Jill Tipograph


Jill Tipograph has been a nationally recognized youth expert and educational consultant for more than 20 years. She is the founder of Everything Summer, a boutique consultancy service that guides families through the summer planning and enrichment process for their children, from elementary school through early college. Prior to that, Jill was a marketing executive in both corporations and advertising agencies. She had a hunch that after helping young students and their families design the right summer and school-year experiences, she should follow students as they aged to aid them in their transition into young professionals. This hunch was proven correct after she teamed up with Good Morning America’s Tory Johnson to produce the Career Boot Camp NYC for new graduates. Jill is a professional member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) and the National Association of College Admissions Counseling (NACAC). Jill holds both a BA in Psychology, and an MBA in Marketing from New York University.


Sarah Birdsong
career assessment specialist

Sarah is a certified executive coach from the ICF accredited Center for Executive Coaching.  Sarah focuses on assessments for people entering the beginning of their careers. She is certified to provide these specific assessments, evaluate results and channel job direction. Sarah is a strategic partner with Early Stage Careers in determining how a person fits within an organization and helps clients match their natural talents to work they love. She brings 15+ years of internal and external executive recruiting experience, most recently as a senior consultant to the office of the CEO for Korn Ferry. Additionally, she has experience in academia in both Development and Undergraduate Admissions. She holds
a BA in Psychology and a MEd in Counseling with a specialization
in Higher Education from the University of Virginia.

Shana Greenblatt Janoff
client services

Shana helps manage each step of the Early Stage Careers process for every client, to ensure that schedules and deadlines are met. She assists in identifying ‘right fit’ internship and job opportunities for clients. Shana’s background in education includes: trustee to the Board of Education, creating learning and experiential opportunities for students as they rise from classroom to career; she helped create the first-ever Parent Guidance Committee, offering parents and students a forum for dialog and understanding of student emotional growth.  A parent of two adult children, Shana has personally navigated the process of college and career readiness. 
Shana received a BA in English from Boston University.  

Sheila Boland
client research associate

Sheila Circular.jpg

Sheila assists in research to identify specific opportunities for internships, jobs, and skill development programs; as well as supports client service projects. Sheila brings more than 10 years of human resources experience from both large international and smaller regional organizations. While her involvement was in all areas of HR, her focus and specialization was in Selection & Recruitment. Sheila has a BA in Psychology from University College Dublin and a postgraduate Diploma in Business Studies from University College Galway.

Jake Schwartzwald
communications & administration

Jake maintains the Early Stage Careers website and systems; helps design, produce, and curate Early Stage Careers' digital content and communications; and brings a millennial perspective to the Early Stage Careers team. He has experience in communications and non-profit work. Jake is available to work with clients directly who are seeking to strengthen their social media skills for the workplace. This service is available on a request basis. Jake graduated from Middlebury College with a BA in Theatre.

The job search, interpersonal, and career management skills I learned through working with them helped me succeed far beyond my first job.
— Sean C., George Washington University