By: Khadeeja Rayner
Photo by: Kerrie Head
This week the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute partnered with Georgia State’s Leadership Development Office to kick off the fall series of Leadership In The City, which is an interactive lunch and learn event initiative aimed at formally introducing students to leaders from various professional backgrounds. During the program, students have the opportunity to gain holistic insight about the role of leaders, what they experience on a day-to-day basis, and how their leadership is impacting the Atlanta community and beyond.
Students packed the Senate Salon in Student Center East to hear about the incredible journey of entrepreneurship from the lineup of successful CEOs and Founders. The panel included:
Susan Connor, the president of Square Blue Consulting, a local agency that assists businesses with developing their brand. Evan Jarecki, who is the co-founder of GimmeVending, a company that develops software tools which allow businesses track inventory and sales information from their on-site vending machines. Carlo Martinez, the CEO and co-founder of Steppingblocks, a digital platform that helps people define their career goals. Krish Chopra, the founder of Nurse Practitioner Clinical Rotations, an outsourcing company that focuses on helping nursing students gain the access to clinical rotations to ensure they are prepared to help civilians and corporations in need.
The speakers openly shared what led them to entrepreneurship, their unique perspectives on what it takes to be successful, and the mindsets and viewpoints needed to overcome the inevitable failures entrepreneurs face in any industry when starting or growing a business. The discussion included candid advice to students, as well as a wide array of responses to questions posed by the audience.
“Entrepreneurship means wearing many hats and leading not only your business but also your employees to success. Entrepreneurship can be learned and adapted by anyone, because it’s a mindset.”
“Knowing that Plan “A” can fail is important, and I wish that I told my younger self that. You have to be open to changing your plans because anything can happen.”
“To be a successful entrepreneur, you have to be willing to put your pride aside and be open to feedback. Always surround yourself with people that you want to be like. Doing so, will push you to reach your goals.”
“It doesn’t matter what your major is, anyone can be an entrepreneur. What’s important is gaining knowledge and learning about any available resources.”
With all of the inspiring insight, it’s motivating to hear the transparency that everyone shared. Sacrifice and persistent hard work is fundamental to the life of an entrepreneur. Building an idea from the ground up is a 24/7, non-stop job. Students should use the panelist’s experiences and advice to motivate them to keep going.
“Instead of working 90 hours for someone else, think about all of the things that you can do for yourself,” said Susan. To be an outstanding leader you must challenge the norm to innovate and create change.
The Leadership in the City series is ongoing and provides students with tools from real-world professionals to learn more about developing their leadership skills. For more events like this, check out our events calendar!