Before entering Rutgers Business School-New Brunswick, I was unsure about pursuing business. My mentality was that it would be easier to transfer out than to transfer back in if I changed my mind. I didn’t know anything about business besides what I knew from my father’s small business. But the more I learned about business in my classes and from interacting with my peers and professionals, the more I realized how exciting it is. The world of business began to grow on me.
The value of service has been ingrained in me since childhood, and I was disillusioned by the idea of the cubicle life, even though it would ensure stability. I wanted to find a way to merge together my love of people, my desire to make a positive impact, and my newly developed fascination with the world of business. After some research I discovered the realm of social entrepreneurship. Social business would create its own revenue, thus expanding its potential reach and aligning itself with a sustainable business model. When creating a lasting impact, sustainability is vital. Becoming a social entrepreneur became my dream.
Still very new to this realm of social business, I wanted to learn and experience more. On campus, I joined a student organization called Enactus, which is an international organization in 36 countries and over 1700 universities. We focus on creating sustainable business solutions to social, environmental, and economic problems. As the purpose states, “enabling progress through entrepreneurial action,” leads to the improvement in the quality of life for millions of people around the world. It is through our Enactus projects in New Brunswick that I began to see opportunity and gaps for improvement where people typically saw problems. It reminded me of the need to connect the dots to create a big picture.
In an effort to learn more, I reached out to Daniel because of another one of his initiatives which focused on providing students the resources they need to create their own social business ventures. After months of keeping in contact, Daniel gave me the opportunity to join the Princeton Impact Project team. I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity because I know I will gain invaluable experience. I hope to gain the skills necessary to prepare me for one day creating and running my own social business, and to connect to community leaders. Many students are hesitant to reach out to people who are leaders in their desired field, but the truth is that everyone is so willing to guide us students and become our mentors. It’s all about demonstrating passion and curiosity.
Most importantly, Princeton Impact Project creates a space for people to come together and collaborate. It reinforces the value of community and not just making a change but making a positive change. The biggest mistake that some people make when wanting to create an impact is that they don’t pay their due diligence. They don’t connect with the right people, they don’t immerse themselves in a community to truly understand the dynamics of the people and the community structure, and they want to create change for self-gratification as opposed to serving for the virtue of serving. Princeton Impact Project values the due diligence necessary for creating not just change, but positive change. The power of community truly is embedded in its model.
As a student and an aspiring social entrepreneur, I’m extremely excited to see how this journey unfolds.