One of the great perks of being a blogger is that I get to talk to a lot of really interesting people. A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by Randal Pinkett, last season’s winner of The Apprentice and author of the new book Campus CEO. This book was written as an all-encompassing how-to guide for college student entrepreneurs so I was immediately interested in interviewing him. Besides, who doesn’t want the inside scoop on what goes on behind closed doors at Trump Central!
With all respect to Randal, I admit that I did not watch the show at all during the season that he was on it, so despite his gigantic media exposure, I went into the interview not knowing much about him besides what I read on his biography.
Wow, was I impressed. Despite an almost obscene number of degrees at a young age (Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Rutgers, a Master of Science in Computer Science from Oxford University in England, a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and MBA and Ph.D. degrees from MIT), Randal was already a successful entrepreneur with a multi-million dollar company when he joined the cast of The Apprentice.
In the interview, he was kind, thoughtful and engaging. He talked about his first start up business as an 18 year old college student, and the successive growth that led him to graduate with a trunk full of degrees and no school debt! We agreed that was a great selling point for the book. 🙂
I wondered that if hotshot college students were starting businesses before graduating, if some of us late-to-the-game-but-enthusiastic entrepreneurial geezers should be worried. He assured me there was room for everyone.
I find it so rare in today’s world to find a truly savvy business person with a profound personal commitment to social change and justice. Because I spent many, many years of my life working with young people from neighborhoods without a lot of hope and resources, I walked away with a tremendous respect for Randal’s personal mission and positive attitude.
I invite you to listen to our conversation. It is about 40 minutes long.
If you are in college or have entrepreneurially-minded kids who are, I encourage you to buy the book. I really enjoyed the read, and found it has both good overviews and very practical “how to” checklists and resources.
I will post a transcript of this and the Martha Beck interview soon … sorry for the delay, there has been a glitch with my transcription service. Thanks for your patience.