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05/16/2011

Entrepreneurship vs. Getting a Job

I came to MIT to focus on entrepreneurship and still am focused on starting a company as a life goal.  But I refuse to start a company just to start something, and nothing has grabbed my interest enough to go all-in just yet.  And frankly, I have a ton of school debt.  This is a big problem for a lot of my classmates, and one which the MIT Entrepreneurship Center needs to better understand and address -- but that is a topic for another post.  So anyway, over the last few months I have been busy searching for a full-time job.

I decided to look for a role at a start-up.  Some people say the return really isn't there to "join" a start-up.  You get little of the credit, take on greater risk, the financial upside is limited compared to the founders, and in the mean time salaries are usually a bit lower.  

I disagree with this fundamentally.  This is esspecially true when making a major career transition like I am.  Before MIT Sloan, I was a mechanical engineer working for a defense contractor.  While at MIT, I became infatuated with web and software, an area where I have a lot to learn.  I think spending time in a start-up will give me important experience and credibility, as well as allow me to prove myself.  Additionally, it will be a great chance to build a network in the industry, beyond what I was able to build here at MIT.

I think starting a company is one of the most challenging, beautiful, and exciting things someone can do.  Put it is important that the time, fit, and team is right.