Four Fresh-Faced Business Executives to Inspire You

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Some people believe that prospective MBA candidates should wait years before attending business school, but MBA programs are seeing more young attendees excited to jumpstart their careers. The four young people in this list pursued their dreams and worked hard before, during, and after business school. Their determination and success serves to show that a combination of ambition, perseverance, and the right education choices can have a lasting positive impact on one’s career.

Lee Linden

32-year-old Lee Linden is the co-founder of not one, but three startup companies. The best known is Karma, an app that helps users track birthdays and events, and send e-gifts very easily. Before Karma, Linden co-founded Tapjoy, a mobile app for advertising and monetization, as well as ContestMachine, which helps users keep track of online contests. Linden worked in product development for Microsoft for four years before pursuing his MBA at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. He currently works at Facebook.

Star Hughes

This 23-year-old executive already had her MBA by age 21. She didn’t graduate high school early to achieve this, though. Instead, she sped up both her undergraduate and graduate degree timelines by taking extra classes. She graduated from undergrad studies at 19 and had her MBA by 21. She made time for important internships and work experience, and accepted the drive that made her different from her peers. After finishing school, she went into the family business and is currently the director at the Hughes Marino real estate company. Hughes is a perfect illustration of the fact that more people are choosing to pursue their MBA at younger ages, and with the right resume and application, prospective students shouldn’t feel they’re too young to attend.

Yasi Baiani

Iran native Yasi Baiani combined her MBA with her interest in health and fitness. She co-founded ActivePepper, a program to help people find sports activities and partners, while she was still in business school. Her business background is diverse, and she co-founded the company VentureXchange, which helps match up MBA grads with startup companies, before she went to business school herself. The 31-year-old can currently be found writing about innovative products like wearable devices.

Landon Dickey

As a graduate from Harvard’s MBA program, 26-year-old Landon Dickey hasn’t focused his career strictly on business. Instead, he’s pursued education as a career path. Before business school, Dickey participated in Teach for America. After graduating from Harvard, he worked at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for three months as a consultant on the education team. Since then, he’s made a move into politics as the advisor to the mayor of Boston, which goes to show that creative MBA graduates can put their valuable skills to good use in many different career paths.

A MBA is a gateway to many exciting career choices. Whether a school project turns into a startup company, classes inspire new interests and passions, or students find valuable mentors, business school is a great choice for young people looking to make a mark on the world. Just take a look at how these four young people used their degrees to pursue their passions.