INDIANAPOLIS, July 16, 2013 – While many new Kelley School of Business graduates are learning the ropes in central Indiana companies big and small, one finance and international studies grad is cutting his teeth as a Venture for America fellow. Jim Plew (BS ’13) left IUPUI this spring with a passion to pursue a start-up endeavor and make a difference.
Venture for America (VFA) trains the country’s top college graduates and sends them to start-ups and early-stage companies in lower-cost cities. Fellows like Plew spend two years in the trenches learning how to become entrepreneurs. The program was featured in a New York Times article, which describes the commitment a VFA fellow makes to gaining hands-on business experience and creating economic value. For many, that commitment means sacrificing an alluring six-figure job offer.
A self-described over-achiever, Plew was relentless in his pursuit of achievement. “Almost every decision I made in the early part of my undergraduate career was shaped by my desire to ‘make it to the top,’” he remembers.
The inexperienced version of Plew believed that success was defined only by “the corner office at a big bank or a Fortune 500 company.” What he learned is success without passion is not success at all.
“Life is too short to chase a career about which you aren’t passionate,” says Plew, who was named IUPUI’s most outstanding male student in 2013. “If you don’t love it, don’t do it.”
Following a semester-long internship at Merrill Lynch, Plew discovered his love for start-ups. He received university funding to develop a software venture on campus, and he partnered with other IUPUI students to develop a business plan for a medical device invented by a professor at the IU School of Medicine.
Plew loves start-ups: the chance to build, to create and to innovate. “I was drawn into the culture from the first moment I experienced it at Kelley,” he says.
So instead of learning the ropes at a Fortune 500 company, Plew is doing what he loves. As a VFA fellow, he has the chance to pursue his entrepreneurial passion, while “creating change for the common good.”
Read more about Plew’s decision to become a Venture for America fellow.