When Netflix's unique social media reality series The Circle kicked off at the beginning of 2020, almost all of the contestants were excited to either show off their true selves on the voice-activated app or deceive everyone with a well-made catfish account... but there was one person who stood out as a social media naysayer. Despite bluntly calling social media "the devil" in his intro clip, Shubham decided to embrace the platform in order to make a point about authenticity online — and ended up being super successful. During his time on The Circle, Shubham Goel's real job was only briefly touched upon, but his career path has included the perfect mix of internet savvy and real-world interpersonal skills that makes it clear why he was so successful on the show.
Playing as his authentic self on The Circle, Goel revealed to all his fellow contestants that he is a software engineer, and according to his LinkedIn profile, that is still true after the show. For the past year, Goel has worked as the cofounder and data analyst for iERP Company, an enterprise resource planning company that provides software for businesses, according to the company's website. Prior to that, Goel worked as a virtual reality consultant manager, and was a marketing campus ambassador for HBO during his time at UCLA. Goel graduated in 2017 as an economics major with a minor in film and TV.
But Goel's career in the tech industry is only half of his professional story. As The Circle fans will recall, during one of the many games the social media app made the contestants play during the show, Goel revealed he recently ran for governor of California. Back in 2018, Goel became the youngest gubernatorial candidate in California when he launched his campaign at the age of 22. He wound up losing, but Goel's reasoning behind the campaign was to motivate anyone with fresh ideas to voice them without fear.
Ironically enough, one of the platforms Goel ran on was a ban on social media use for K-12 students throughout California, as he laid out for India-West at the time:
Social media companies have used the variable rewards effect to hook us to use their platforms. As a result, everywhere you go, people are on social media sites for hours and hours. This has made people generally unhappy, and our mental health has suffered.
When speaking to Elite Daily, Goel said his time on The Circle did alter his negative view on social media, although he does still see red flags in the way it affects users' mental health. After seeing how social media platforms can build communities and raise awareness, Goel has a more mixed outlook on the whole situation.
As for a potential future in politics, Goel confirmed to Elite Daily he is interested in getting involved in the process again, saying his 2018 campaign was very fulfilling for him. So, don't be surprised if you see his name on a ballot soon enough.