Making your own way in the world can be a daunting thought. But it is not impossible. Achieving what seems like an impossible goal can make a world of difference to someone’s confidence and the way they take on life. Take a look at this list of people who not only achieved the goal of getting a Master’s degree, but also helped change the world after overcoming this challenge. Here you will see that a variety of people were able to overcome their situations and make a difference for the better in not only their life, but the lives of others around them.
1. Prasad Thammineni
Prasad Thammineni is an entrepreneur from Cambridge, Massachusetts. After graduating at BITS in Pilani, India with degrees in both Mathematics and Computer Science, he came to America to study at Princeton. He then dropped out and started his own business ventures, one of them being a technology service called jPeople. Thammineni received his MBA in 2007 at the Wharton School of Business. His current company, called OfficeDrop, is his most recent business venture since completing his classes and receiving an MBA. OfficeDrop is a new company that helps small businesses with an affordable document management system. This company was founded in 2007 with its headquarters located in Cambridge along with its founder. Officedrop uses a Cloud technology system so that customers can amplify productivity by sharing, uploading, and saving documents almost instantly. He not only developed programs for the computer that allow users to instantly ‘drop’ the files to the ‘cabinet’, but also apps for devices like the iPhone and Android.
In Thammineni’s spare time he blogs about funding and growing startups. He is a frequent presenter at business conferences as well as business schools such as Harvard and Wharton. He also likes to ride his bike and walk his dog when he is not working at his computer. He currently resides in Boston along with his wife.
2. Seth Goldman
Seth Goldman, originally from Massachusetts, was an entrepreneur from the start. As a young boy, he started with the usual lemonade stands in the summer and paper routes. As he got older, however, he went on to create a non-profit urban service program. In 1987 he graduated Harvard, following that up with an MBA from the Yale School of Management in 1995. Using the tools he gained with his degrees, he co-founded a company called Honest Tea in 1998.
Honest Tea is a company based in Bethesda, Maryland. Goldman and his friend Barry Nalebuff were the founders of this bottled organic tea company. This brand offers sweetened as well as unsweetened versions of their flavors of bottled teas. In 2008 the Coca-Cola Company purchased a 40% stake of the company for $43 million dollars. By 2011 Coca-Cola had purchased the rest of the company. Goldman now serves on boards such as Pennsylvania Certified Organic and Bethesda Green. He works with and contributes to The Mission-Driven Business blog on Inc.com in his free time. Goldman currently resides in Maryland with his wife and three boys.
3. Chuck Slaughter
Chuck Slaughter first started with his company called TravelSmith. This business took off and grew to over 2 million customers. In 2004 Slaughter sold TravelSmith and then turned his attention to building more philanthropic enterprises in both private and social areas. Slaughter traveled to Kenya and while there, he established his idea for Living Goods. Living Goods would be the next endeavor that Slaughter would venture into. Living Goods is a sort of Avon-esque business where networks of female entrepreneurs can earn money by selling life-saving products door-to-door. The products that are sold are affordable for the poor, so that the poor may have access to these things that they would not be able to acquire otherwise. During his work with Living Goods, Slaughter also is a speaker at many venues such as the Global Philanthropy Forum, World Affairs Council, Yale, and Harvard. He has received the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, as well as receiving the honor of being a Draper Richards Fellow.
Slaughter earned his B.A. and his Master’s in Public and Private Management from Yale. He is currently settled in California with his wife and three sons.
4. Trish Karter
Trish Karter, the daughter of Peter Karter, who was a pioneer in the modern materials recycling industry, earned her MBA at the Yale School of Management after attending Wheaton College. Karter is a very interesting figure in the baking and entrepreneurial worlds and was the founder and CEO of the Dancing Deer Baking Company. The Dancing Deer Baking Company is a Boston-based producer of high-end, natural baked goods which eventually scaled up to nationwide distribution. In the mid 90’s, Karter became an angel investor for Dancing Deer, eventually taking the helm as its CEO in 1998. A stalwart of social responsibility, she relocated the offices of Dancing Deer to the Roxbury area of Boston, an area then known for its gang violence. While this and other decisions by her were seen as risky, they eventually paid off. By 2004 the company had grown to a business of approximately 6 million in sales. Dancing Deer has come to be known for its natural, preservative-free products, its commitment to employing individuals from deprived backgrounds and giving them equity in the company, and the trademark whimsical designs on their packaging. Karter stepped down from managing the company in 2010 to pursue personal interests. She lives in Milton, Massachusetts with her two children and enjoys artistry in her spare time.
5. Edward Miner “Ned” Lamont, Jr.
Edward Miner “Ned” Lamont, Jr. was born on January 3, 1954 in Washington, D.C. Lamont was born into old money thanks to his great-grandfather Thomas W. Lamont, a partner of the banking firm J. P. Morgan & Co., and grew up in New York. He received his Master’s in Public and Private Management from the Yale School of Management in 1980 after earning his A.B. from Harvard in 1976. In 1984, Lamont founded Lamont Digital Systems. This company was a builder and operator of telecommunications networks, mainly for college campuses and gated communities. It plans and builds advanced applications and maintenance services as well.In 2006 Lamont began his political career as an anti-war candidate, contrasting his political opponent at the time, Joe Lieberman. Unfortunately for Lamont, he lost that election to Mr. Lieberman. In 2010, Lamont started another political campaign. This time it was a campaign to become Governor of Connecticut. Once more, Lamont was defeated, only this time it was by the Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy.
Lamont and his wife Ann have three children, and they reside in Washington, D.C. Lamont spends his days as a faculty member of Central Connecticut State University.
6. Linda Mason
Linda Mason is someone whom most would say has a heart of gold. After spending the late-seventies in France studying the language and literature at the Sorbonne, as well as classical piano at the Rachmaninoff Conservatory, she returned to America and attained her B.A. from Cornell University and her MBA from the Yale School of Management.
A large part of Mason’s career has gone into creating and evolving the Bright Horizons Family Solutions company. In 1986, she and Roger Brown co-founded this company together, operating it as a public company until the spring of 2008 when it was moved to private. Bright Horizons Family Solutions is a company that provides worksite child care and early education. They operate more than 650 high quality centers around the globe. Mason has had the honor of holding high leadership positions on the boards of several important non-profit organizations, her most important one perhaps being a Chair of her company, Bright Horizons Family Solutions. Mason is married to Roger Brown and they have three children. All of her children are graduates of the early education centers that her company has helped build and support through the years.
7. Anne Margaret Glover
Anne Margaret Glover was born on February 6, 1954. She holds a dual citizenship with America and the UK, and speaks three languages; English, French, and German. She is the CEO and co-founder of Amadeus Capital Partners, which was founded originally in 1997. This company is a venture capital firm that invests in companies in Europe that specialize in high-technology and sciences. Throughout her career, she has had many great accomplishments. Early on in her career, she held a good number of management positions for many companies. An example of some of her great accomplishments includes receiving a CBE in 2006 at the Queen’s Birthday Honors list for “services to business”. She also holds a seat in the Technology Strategy Board of the UK’s Department of Trade and Industry. In 2008 she was elected an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Engineering. Glover attended the Yale School of Management and attained her Master’s degree. She also attended the Clare College of Cambridge and received a Master’s in metallurgy and materials science.
8. Ellis B. Jones
Ellis B. Jones was born in 1954. He attended the Yale School of Management and attained his MBA in 1979. He attained his B.S. from the University of California at Berkeley.Jones has invested more than twenty years in private equity and investment banking. He is also responsible for overseeing not only industry groups at major investment banking companies, but product groups as well. During the years of 1988 to 1994, Jones was the Head of the Hotel and Gaming Group at Salomon Brothers. Before that run, he was a Managing Director of the high end banking company, Los Angles Investment Banking. Jones has held many seats with boards such as Odwalla Inc., Phoenix House, True Advantage, and All Clad Holdings, Inc. He is currently serving on the boards of directors at Harry & David, Encompass Digital Median, and Access Scientific.
9. Eric Higgs
Eric Higgs is the CEO and president of the company known as LumaStream. He brings 20 years of experience with high-technology, a B.S. in Computer Science, and an MBA from Stanford University to the table of his innovative new company.
Higgs jump started his career at KPMG Peat Marwick as a consultant on information technology. He then moved on to become the Chief Operating Officer at Cerego, LLC, a company that produced a fundamentally new technology paradigm for adaptive learning.For almost a decade, Higgs pursued a fine art career. If you pay close attention you can find his work in museums and private collections around the globe.
10. Danae Ringelmann
Danae Ringelmann attended the Haas School of Business at Berkeley and attained her MBA. She also graduated with a B.A. in Humanaties from UNC-Chapel Hill. Before she helped found IndieGoGo, Ringelmann was a securities analyst at Cowen & Co. where she worked with companies such as Pixar and Lionsgate. She also worked with J. P. Morgan’s Investment Bank and focused on cable networks, the NFL, and newspapers.
In 2008, she co-founded the company called IndieGoGo, along with Eric Schell. This company is a crowd-funding platform that allows someone to raise money to kick-start their idea, whether it be a game or a book, or a charity or a business start-up. This amazing company allows a person to not only get their idea off the ground, but also lets the keep their idea without the fear of the company using it for their own personal gain.
IndieGoGo has helped thousands of projects and their founders raise money across the globe in 114 countries.
These stories are inspiring and show just how much you can accomplish if you keep focused on your goals. These wonderful people worked hard and kept innovating themselves. All it takes to change the world for the better is one amazing idea and the strength to push it forward and to make it happen. What will you do to change the world when you have the strength to push hard enough?