Washington University in St. Louis
What did you study in college?
Major: Psychology Minors: Legal Studies & Entrepreneurship
What was your experience like as a Venture for America Fellow? What advice would you give to any students who are considering the program?
Being a VFA Fellow has been an amazing experience for me. I’ve been fortunate enough to land at an awesome company. From the perspective of being a young entrepreneur and, hopefully, future founder, VFA has been great for building a network and getting exposure to great mentors and peers who all have the ambition to make things around them better. My advice to anyone who is considering the program is to go into it with an open mind and really get involved in your city where you can. I think so much of being an entrepreneur is becoming a part of your community, truly understanding it, and then working the people in that community to help make it better.
How long have you been working at TopOpps?
I have been at TopOPPS for just over 10 months. Time really flies when you’re out of college.
What are you currently working on?
Right now I am working on making TopOPPS known all around the B2B tech world. I’m working on creating new content, editing our website, managing social media, and figuring out ways to drive traffic and engagement to our brand.
How do you like to spend your free time?
Playing sports (basketball, soccer, and golf), finding and trying new whiskeys, attending St. Louis Surge basketball games, watching great movies, or just out and about exploring the city on my new bike! I’m also learning to play the guitar but that’s in its really early stages.
You recently participated in Global Hack were part of the winning team. What was that experience like and what did you contribute to your team?
GlobalHack was a great experience. For a while, I’ve been trying to take learning to code more seriously and doing a hackathon was definitely the way to push myself to accelerate that process. As a beginner, it is crucial for me to be around true pros who are able to help me when I need help and to empower me to figure it out for myself when I hit a wall. I wanted to gain more experience in HTML and CSS so I took on building out the page that appears when you complete the riddle.
What’s next on your list to learn?
Why the interest in working at a startup?
I want to be sure that the work I do matters. I don’t want to just go through the motions and feel that if I were to disappear tomorrow, my work would just be carried on by another cog in the machine. I also want to feel that way about the people I work with. Startups foster an environment that requires hard working and forward thinking go-getters in order to be successful. I find those people and those problems we will face at a startup to be unbelievably rewarding and exciting.
Why start your career in St. Louis?
St. Louis is like viewing a mosaic. There are so many hubs that harbor so many different vibes and each carry so much city pride. St. Louis is a city where you don’t have to travel far to meet people from different walks of life. That type of exposure to diversity is what I believe profoundly impacts your life and how you view your career.
What do you like about working in downtown St. Louis?
I like being downtown of all the growth going on. From the development of new attractions like The National Blues Museum to all the companies that are growing in and around T-Rex, downtown has been picking up steam since I moved to St. Louis in 2010 and it’s fun to be surrounded by it. Plus, there’s a lot of great food.
If you could be any superhero, who would you be and why?
Probably Ironman. Being a genius is probably the best super power you could ever have.