I am a 1st year MBA student at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. Before starting at business school this fall, I worked at a startup education consulting firm name ADIS Corporation. I learned a great deal working at ADIS and met some interesting individuals during that time. ADIS was the 2nd startup I actually worked for. The first was an internet consulting firm named ZEFER. It was at ZEFER that I found my interest in entrepreneurship. I worked at ZEFER the summer after my freshman year at MIT. I was one of its four original interns, earning a $500 stipend (and free monthly subway passes) for the entire summer (that worked out to much less than minimum wage). But as I have learned in business school, non-monetary compensation often is valued much more than monetary compensation. And as an eager student at MIT, the prospect of being involved with an exciting venture-backed firm was more than enough compensation for me.
Back to today...so here I am sitting in my apartment thinking about what I want to do. Most of my fellow business school students are running around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to figure out if they want to go into banking, consulting, or marketing. At least most of them have narrowed it down to two of the three. Not to let you think I am above the fray, I have also dipped my feet into the pool of consulting presentations. I even had one firm call me today asking me if I was going to apply -- to which I of course said "Yes!" Ugh...I feel shameless.
But I feel somewhat lucky. I actually do know exactly what I want to do. I want to start my own tech company. The sad thing is that I've been saying this since I was at MIT. Ever since I got the startup bug at ZEFER, I've been telling people that I wanted to start my own company; but the time wasn't right or that I didn't have the right idea. I'm 27 now and I think those two excuses have now exhausted themselves out completely. Especially since as a student I don't have a job so the time IS right; and because I do have the idea. And yet I keep feeling held back. Professors, career counselors, family and friends all tell me to "get some work experience first." It would be too easy to listen to them. I need to believe in myself and break free from the binding safeness of excuses that are too easy to fall back on.
Harking again back to my college days, my fraternity had this tradition of watching Braveheart before the start of every term to inspire us through the academic gauntlet known as MIT. My favorite scene is before the Battle of Stirling when William Wallace stands before his ratty and timid army of Scotsmen -- sent to the battlefield by their coward lords -- and to this band of men he says,
Fight and you may die. Run and you will live -- at least awhile. And dying in your bed many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance, to come back here as young men and tell our enemies that they may take our lives but they will never take our freedom!That scene never failed to give me a rush of adrenaline. So this blog is my statement that I am making a commitment to my goal, my dream. It all starts here...