Eberly College of Business alumnus Michael
Molli ’91 returned to IUP to visit professor John Lipinski’s Introduction to
Entrepreneurship class on April 7, 2015.
Molli is an experienced entrepreneur and an
active angel investor. He shared his
insights on what it takes to successfully network, build your personal brand,
and leverage that effort into both professional and personal
Molli spoke about early missteps that he made
in his career and how he leveraged the lessons from those early mistakes into
future opportunities. Along his career
path, he discussed the importance of doing a solid job with great
integrity. Putting forth hard work and
conducting yourself with dignity and integrity always pays off in the long
In building his network, he commented on how
critical it is for people to go outside of their comfort zone and work to build
relationships. A strong network is
critical if one wants to become a successful entrepreneur, and maintaining that
network is predicated on the elements of building a strong personal brand.
“Mr. Molli has taught me that if you give an honest effort, are
personable, and work hard, people will recognize you and your work. Then, in
return, they will reach out and try to help you and boost your success” said Francesca Ritchie, a student in Lipinski’s class.
Molli’s visit to campus also included a session
with the students working in the Small Business Development Center. He had the opportunity to sit down with 15
students and share his thoughts on what it takes to succeed in the business
world. He also shared tips.
“It was great to interact and really get to learn from him,” said Ashley Ford, a
SBDC intern and student of professor Lipinski. “It was a great experience. He had
such wonderful insight on business and great advice for passionate upcoming
business professionals. One aspect of his presentation I really enjoyed was
when he talked about times he didn't make the best business decisions (in terms
of investments), and that was very respectable. It is hard for anyone to admit
when they made a bad business decision, but he came by it honestly, and
stressed the importance of learning from mistakes. When he visited the SBDC,
everyone was captivated by his interesting background and experience,
especially that he was an entrepreneur and worked on business plans and with
start-up companies just as we are trying to do. He had a wonderful message… DO
IT, as he would say, ‘just show up’, go, and make the most out of it.”
It was a wonderful welcoming Molli
back to campus. He commented that he was
looking forward to his next visit.
Without a doubt, it will be a rewarding visit.
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