Five alums returned to Providence Country Day last week to share their experiences with entrepreneurship and perspectives on the continuing value and relevance of their PCD educations.
Members of the panel included Isaiah Davis '04, Founder of Game Time Training; JJ Gilbane '07, Principal at Anchor Equity; Emily Perkins '05, Owner and founder of Love Living Holistics; and Lauren Steingold '05, Founder and Head of Strategy of Uber Health at Uber. The panel was moderated by CeCe Bazar Aparo '07, the Vice President at Hoffman and Associates and member of PCD's Board of Trustees.
There were several recurring themes, but the most common refrain was passion. Isaiah Davis observed, "When you do something that you're passionate about money doesn't even ring a bell in your brain anymore because it either just comes or you have a life that you're so happy that it doesn't matter, right?" JJ Gilbane added, "Follow your gut, follow your passion. Look at what you're doing now and say, 'Where's that going to put me in 10 years, 20 years?'" Emily Perkins noted, "Trust yourself that the thing that lives in you, whatever it is, that thing that you're just really excited about, trust that in the moments when the fear and the doubt would come in, trust the part of you, that's like, 'Oh, I'm really passionate about that.' And commit to it!"
The alumni panel provided a wealth of advice for our future entrepreneurs. JJ Gilbane noted, "The biggest risk is not taking the risk. I'm taking one and if I fail, I've got a community of people who surround me." Emily Perkins followed, "There is no failure. You'll either win or you learn. You figure it out and you move forward, and there goes life." Lauren Steingold shared, "If you know what your end goal is, there are a million ways to get there. It doesn't matter how you get there as long as you keep that end goal or that vision in mind. Be willing to be flexible along the way."
The panelists also shared how their PCD teachers and experiences continue to inform their values and their decisions. Whether it was a challenging physics class with Carol-Ann Tripp, a memorable role in a play, a solo audition in the chorus, or a big win on the basketball court or the lacrosse field, the lessons learned at PCD were still fresh in their minds decades after graduation.
After the panel, students had the opportunity to chat one-on-one with the alums. Building connections between the student body and PCD's alumni base provides a way for our alums to stay involved and a way for our students to explore the world after graduation.