Venturing out on their own, a Mass Communication Week panel shares how they ditched the cubicle and devoted their careers to help others in meaningful ways.
Nathan Green, co-founder of campus2careers, said he was sick of seeing funding go to unemployment rather than helping students find jobs.
Green decided to make a change by co-founding campus2careers, which helps new graduates find entry-level positions with small businesses.
“I was the youngest executive in a big corporation and I was miserable,” said Green. “Now, everything we do has a mission.”
David Neff, founder of Lights. Camera. Help., said that agencies are still great experience, but students should know their options.
“For the rest of my life, I want to work for people, profit and the planet,” said Neff. “Students can do their own thing and pay the bills too.”
Yet, the panel agreed that paying the bills is difficult when you’re funding a startup company.
Ehren Foss, founder of Prelude Interactive, said the idea of a full-time job with a salary and benefits is out the window. Foss said the only way to afford this venture was by keeping his costs low.
“I got rid of my car, rent and found interesting recipes using rice,” said Foss. “But, it doesn’t seem like a sacrifice because I am my own boss and I’m working for a cause.”
Green said his old job had to pay him a lot of money because he hated it, but now time spent working is fun.
Sarah Vela, president of HelpAttack!, said she doesn’t recommend founding a startup company to a recent graduate.
Vela encourages students to gain experience wherever they can and they will learn what is best for them.
“Some people are blessed at eight knowing they’re going to be opera singers when they grow up,” said Vela, “but it doesn’t work like that for everyone. Students should remember they have this option.”