Adams NYC Trek 2017: Alumni Step Up to Show Us a Good Time

With graduation upon us this coming year, the NYC Adams Entrepreneurship Trek was everything we both wanted and needed. 

We started our action-packed weekend with Drew Sechrist, who walked us through the growth spurt of Salesforce from a small company to billion dollar revenues. Drew spoke to the challenges with each phase and the changing dynamics of his role, expectations and goals. After Salesforce, those lessons informed his trajectory with KooZoo and Rocketrip. 

It’s essential to highlight navigating NYC is a story on its own. Chi, Madrid and the other homegrown native apprentices stepped up big time!

Recent graduate Natalia Gonzalez-Chavez (BA ’14) welcomed the group at IBM Watson Place. What a cool place! The importance of creativity and engagement Natalia discussed in her work was apparent in the entirety of the space. We also met project managers and team leaders who stressed the value of well-rounded experience in their day-to-day activities. 

Our next visit was a dynamic Tar Heel duo: Dennis Blanco and Bryce Williamson from Cardinal Workshop. They created a furniture workshop in Queens that flat-pack ships custom high end designs. Their venture is the manifestation of passion and friendship!  From their decision to work together to identifying their niche market and walking us through the user design, this visit reveals the power of our network and shared potential. 

New Lab in Brooklyn is the workplace I aspire to have. A renovated Navy Ship Yard turned entrepreneurial powerhouse, I’m sure one of us may end up there!

Next, Brian Leuthner, proud first-generation college graduate, shared his story bringing Edge Therapeutics to its current height over the past decade. Where there is an unmet need, Brian encourages us take our shot and help others. 

Networking is fun! For our last event of the day, I actually had the opportunity to reconnect with a former TA now role-model entrepreneur. As an undergrad senior, seeing how passion, risk, and challenge has transformed alumnus life and career path is reassuring of our own endeavors. 

Huge shoutout to our alumni for exemplifying the Carolina Way in their professional and personal careers. Sharing their time, advice and entrepreneurial experiences is a powerful investment in us.  The opportunity to learn about failures, victories and most importantly growth, gave me a refreshing outlook of my own goals and visions.

By Karla Garcia (BA ’18)