Ivy League senior Ethan Carlson recently turned down a job with a global-energy consulting practice and instead pledged to spend two years working for an entrepreneur, perhaps with a focus on renewable energy, in a struggling U.S. city.
“I want to make an impact not only on myself, my career and my finances, but also society around me, and my local community,” the 21-year-old mechanical-engineering major at Yale University says.
The project he plans to join, Venture for America, was founded by Andrew Yang, the former chief executive of Manhattan GMAT, a test-preparation company acquired in 2009 by Kaplan, a Washington Post Co.
Venture for America says it was inspired by Teach for America, which places recent college graduates at schools in low-income communities for two years. This summer its first crop of about 50 “fellows” will be placed at small businesses such as Drop the Chalk, an education-software firm in New Orleans, and Andera Inc., an online-account-opening firm in Providence, R.I.
The companies will pay participants $32,000 to $38,000 a year, plus health benefits. The program includes a five-week program at Brown University that mimics training for consulting and investment banking.
Years ago I met a young woman at a networking event and we exchanged phone numbers; she was just starting her new business and was interested in talking about what I was doing in my work, and what she was developing. We became fast friends and exchanged plenty of information about how our businesses were developing on and off line. Her name is Vanessa Van Petten and she has grown her new little business into an amazing online resource of services, teachings and now several books for parents all about what it’s like being a teenager from a teen perspective. I recently spoke to Vanessa when she launched the sale of her new book Do I get My Allowance Before or After I’m Grounded?, about the growth of her business and her experiences publishing three books – one self-published with a self-publishing company, one entirely on her own, and most recently with a big name New York publisher. Have a listen to this candid conversation about growing a business, and the changing challenges and demands of book publishing.