Read Alumni responses to student questions!
Kit Mullen: International Studies, 2021
What Drives Me: The ability to solve problems, that when I personally encountered I did not have the answers for.
How: Today in schools most students are more interested and invested in their grades, rather than what they are learning. Instead, specifically in high schools I think there should be a drive to teach students in a way that makes them excited to learn rather than overly-stressed and dreading going to school.
Alumni Question: Lots of times people are torn between doing what they love and doing what will guarantee them successful in the eyes of others. As entrepreneurs how did you make the choice to leave the more normal, reliable lifestyle of working for a company for the riskier task of starting your own company?
Rob Petrosino:Sometimes it comes down to a gut call but job satisfaction and fullfilment typically out weighs a “normal” life.
Sophia Torres-Kennedy: Psychology 2021
What drives me: The desire to relieve suffering, help others, and possibly leave a visible impact on the world, regardless of how big or small.
Alumni Question: Do you believe that failure is an essential part of finding success/succeeding?
Rob Petrosino: I truly believe everyone must fail at some point. Not to test your strength in adversity, but to develop a internal understanding of your value if you had succeeded
Stacy Chin Ph.D. : Yes failure it a must. I don’t typically like the word failure because of its negative connotation it brings. Instead of seeing failure as it is, I encourage to see it in change the perspective as if it’s just going in the wrong direction or it’s not the correct move and then try again. It’s true you need 10 “No’s” before you get to that one yes. The only failure is the act of not trying at all.
Tim Doyle: English, 2021
What drives me is creating a legacy and a name for myself that I am proud of. I am very passionate about business, entrepreneurship, real estate, and fitness/health/wellness.
My question for everyone is: What are some ways of living in the present and seeing the progress that you have made, when you have a “never satisfied” mentality and approach?
Rob Petrosino: awesome question, I love value and quantifying that value of not only my action but my clients / company’s success. I focus on the moment or the day and examine the value taking that then envisioning how much more that can be done fuels the fire to be great.
Gavin McNamara: Political Science, 2021
Something that drives me is a want for success and to always be improving myself as well as people around me. My question to everyone is: early in your college experience, how did you find direction on where you wanted to take your career in business or entrepreneurship?
Dan Barret: good question… the classic response is “follow what you enjoy doing”. It’s classic for a reason though: it’s true. Reflect on the classes that appeal to you, the assignments that appeal to you, the “aha” moments and the deep curiosities as you encounter new ideas in the classroom.Pursue those things.
Entrepreneurship is hard. Working is hard. If you’re not doing something that fundamentally aligns with your interests you will burn out in a snap. Entrepreneurship is not flashy, it’s a grind. It usually involves grinding into a headwind, uphill. But it’s also a race. And if you hate the field you’re in or find it a total bore, it will be next to impossible to race against the people who happen to enjoy doing it.
Collin Cunningham: Figure out what drives you and motivates you and be honest about that thing. Focus on that and then block everything else out. I’ve found that the more I look outwards for direction, the less I’ve been able to discover what I want. To be clear: I have not found yet what I want do. I’m 32. You’ve got time.
Kenna O’Brien: Economics and Psychology, 2021
I am driven by my desire to leave a positive legacy on as many people in this world as possible. My questions for all of you is: What important lessons has entrepreneurship taught you that you believe also apply to the general working world and/or life?
Stacy Chin Ph.D. : Be kind to others and be true to yourself. People can be what destroys your startup but they can also be the biggest blessing especially having the right members in place. Keep meeting people and be kind to all because you never ever know when they may be the solution to your next biggest problem. The ups and downs of entrepreneurship can really challenge you in great and bad ways as a cofounder so it’s important to always stay true to yourself, surround yourself with the right support system and people, and always find time for self care
Michael Mackintire: Economics, 2020
Many startups go through challenging times, what led you to want to pursue a job with very little job security as compared to working in well-established companies with strong job security?
Why: Do the impossible, find a challenge that no one else has ever accomplished or thought was possible
How: Plastic straws are slowly becoming extinct due to environmental reason, everyone thinks the solution is to remove straws out of the equation totally, but instead we should focus on the root cause of straws and how to solve both issues.
Mike Galbo This is a tough one and I think @Kit Mullen’s question is similar. For me, it comes down to a desire to put myself in the driver’s seat. I wanted to be able to define what my impact would be on the world and where I was headed within it. I also think it helps to have parents/family/support system that encourages this and gives you the financial security to pursue it. Finally I think there is a lot of new technology and tools today that allows you to learn and de-risk a new idea early on in the process – so I think everyone should try new things and have side hustles before they dip into it full time.
Rob Petrosino: I struggled with this very recently, I opted to move to a startup VS a well established social media giant because of the impact I could create. Knowing I am working with a team who wants to make dynamic change across industries was more appealing then working a giant who was already successful.
Max Krause: Economics, 2021
Having a positive influence on people and trying to make their daily life easier is what drives me.
My question: How do you make sure your idea is a good idea before you go and invest your time and money into realizing it?
Rob Petrosino: If your idea solves a problem you are most likely on the right track. How you execute is more than half the battle however.
Stacy Chin Ph.D.: Listen to the market and you will see if they agree to your solution.