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.