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In tenth grade, I had a wild idea: a reusable cosmetics container made from plastic recovered from the ocean. I would negotiate a deal with an ocean cleanup organization, build prototypes out of the acquired plastic, pitch my product and my vision to haircare and makeup companies, and radically transform the cosmetics packaging industry. Exciting, I know. But, with no business experience or resources, my wild idea remained untamed. A Tepper education and experience, however, will change that.
A drive to bring ideas to life and share them with people has always led me to pursue different iterations of entrepreneurship. As a five-year-old, I often sifted through my dad’s thick black hair and charged him one cent a strand to pluck out stray white ones. As I grew older, my business plans grew more elaborate. In fourth grade, I discovered that my classmates would happily dish out a quarter in exchange for a colored drawing copied from “Kids Draw: Anime” and signed in careful cursive in the bottom-right corner (excuse my ignorance of copyrighted work). In seventh grade, I created Temptation Btq, my online polymer clay charm store. I hand-made and sold everything from rainbow macarons to social media app bracelets, and eventually, I earned $200 and made my first donation to Doctors Without Borders. What I love most about creating these mini one-woman companies is turning an idea into reality and providing people with what I created.
This summer, I took my first steps into the “grown-up” business world and interned at Mason Bottle, a startup that sells mason jar baby bottles. This was the real deal: I pitched products over the phone to prospective stockists, crafted Facebook ads, and gathered data on customer satisfaction—real feedback from customers who loved the products we had brought to life. As one of the first interns for this couple-run company, I took a dip into several different aspects of business and grew to love them all.
At Tepper, I intend to take another dip (or many). The championing of an entrepreneurship-fostering environment and encouragement of cross-disciplinary study make for a candy-aisle type of magnetism, and as someone who loves candy and choice, I’ll be taking full advantage of that. One day, I’ll dissect the thoughts of potential investors of my cosmetics container line in Funding Entrepreneurial Ventures, and later I’ll learn to maximize technological efficiency in Business Computing. On the side, I could expand Temptation Btq into an arts program for middle school students with the vast amount of resources I have access to, or dive into a fantastically new activity, like Strong Women Strong Girls (I’m already bouncing in my seat for this one). Business is about listening to people, and with Tepper’s dedication to collaboration and the sheer saturation of intellectual energy, not only will I have no problem listening, I’ll also obtain the prowess and zeal needed to act upon what I hear.
Things will be going in opposite directions, but in a good way. Tepper will help me narrow down my passions while simultaneously widening my worldly perspective. The convergence of our avid pizzazz and do-good determination have proven to me that Tepper is where I belong.
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