Tell us a little bit about your journey.
After graduating from Grove City College in 2015, I joined the inaugural class of Praxis Future Founders (since renamed “Emerging Founders”) and apprenticed over that first summer at Kindrid. A Manhattan-based tech startup, Kindrid serves the local church through a giving platform and extensive resources. Before my apprenticeship concluded, the founders asked me to stay on full-time and build out the company’s marketing department. Apart from the investment in ideating around the brand story, marketing was virtually nonexistent at that point. I’ve been with Kindrid ever since and love the challenge of learning to run while I run (and I’ve never been one for running)!
What drew you to choose entrepreneurship as your major?
Part of a long line of entrepreneurs, I learned about recurring revenue around the kitchen table and grew up attending Rotary meetings with my dad. Business—and specifically the flexibility, autonomy, and self-direction afforded by entrepreneurship—became a great interest and I knew it was something I might like to pursue as soon as I discovered Grove City College offered an entrepreneurship major. I think even then, I recognized the power of leveraging business to do good, bringing a fuller picture of God’s kingdom here on earth, and what better place to learn than at a school committed to seeing the same worked out through its students.
In what ways did your relationships with professors help shape your personal and professional journey?
My professors gave me the encouragement I needed to enter business plan and elevator pitch competitions as a freshman, undertake the Highmark course my sophomore year, and by the time I was ready to graduate, gladly write letters of recommendations that helped me secure interviews and ultimately positions within the organizations I respected most.
How was your faith strengthened and perhaps even challenged during your time at Grove City College?
Grove City College gave me the space to challenge myself as a Young Life leader in the community, live with friends who were also trying to make sense of what it means to be a Christian, really be a Christian, and incorporate my faith into ideas for new business ventures, classroom projects, and research papers—all tangible expressions of my value system in practice.
What advice would you give to a student who is considering entrepreneurship as a major?
If you’re a self-starter, enthralled by ideas but even more motivated when you put in the work to make them a reality, become an entrepreneurship major. And when you do, here’s my unsolicited advice: buy a Moleskine. Introduce yourself and just ask. The worst they can say is no. Take advantage of Grove City’s immense network of alums—they housed me in two cities, invested in helping me sort out my future (hint: it’s one day at a time and not as scary as you think), and I can almost guarantee they’d do the same for you.
If you’re interested in marketing or sales, get your certification in HubSpot, as well as Inbound Marketing and Inbound Sales (all free through HubSpot!). Whatever your field, find the software, thought-leaders, and biggest trends, and study them. While your professors may introduce you to concepts and mention publications you should check out, the burden is on you to make something of that knowledge. Read Deep Work, but better yet, practice deep work. Hone a skill like writing, coding, or a compulsiveness for excellence (it’s a thing). Learn to write a good email and don’t take yourself too seriously.