In late October, BU junior Austin Negron (ENG’21) flew to Detroit, Michigan to attend the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit, an event packed with celebrity entrepreneurs, networking opportunities, and a celebration of young innovators. His goal? Make meaningful connections, be inspired, and to learn more about entrepreneurship.
For Negron, networking is what originally led him to the Summit. “I heard about the event through someone I met at a hackathon at the University of Pennsylvania,” he said, “Otherwise, I would not have even known it was happening.”
This type of event was a new experience for Negron, but he made the most of his four days with these strategies:
- Success is more than hard work. “One of my biggest takeaways from the event is that hard work is the entry-level ticket for success,” said Negron “In reality, many people work hard, but not everyone can be successful. I learned that I need to match my hard work with diligence, strategy, and resilience.”
- Take a few risks. “Going into the conference, I knew that I wanted to meet the 30 Under 30 Listers, so I decided to stay an extra day than I had originally planned.” After strategically networking with some of the honorees, Negron was invited into the VIP section. Once there, he made the most of his time and connected with one particular entrepreneur who he has continued to stay in touch with. “After the Summit in Detroit, I was invited to be involved with other opportunities along with meeting more investors and other entrepreneurs. Risks do not always pay off, but in this case, it provided me, and is still providing, an unforgettable experience.”
- Expand your perspective. The Summit attracts more than 9,000 people from over 70 countries. “I got a glimpse of how large and competitive the world is,” noted Negron “It is easy to forget in the comfort of college, being as most students, including myself at times, get stuck in the motions of our schedule and communities.”
- Quality over quantity. Among friends, Negron is known for making connections everywhere he goes, but at the Summit he quickly realized that “although I get along with most people, I don’t always connect with them on a deeper level.” Throughout the event, he said that he made more time for organic conversations with individuals who shared “similar values regarding the entrepreneurial lifestyle.”
Overall, Negron’s experience at the 30 Under 30 Summit comes down to this: “Be authentic. Be friendly. And a little rebellious.”
Students interested in attending similar professional development events can apply here to the Innovate@BU Innovation & Entrepreneurship Scholars for a chance to receive travel support.