Friday, March 30, 2007

Edgy Career Choice

I am in a middle of a big dilemma. What's the best thing to do next summer? (1) Join a big high tech company, (2) Join a high tech startup, or (3) join a not-for-profit in South or East Africa.

When it came the time to accept my Amazon offer a week ago - the only one i had at that time - i realized how confused i was, so i boldly (crazily) declined it. Now I am getting a second chance to be insane, yesterday Yahoo contacted me for a marketing internship. Everyone says Yahoo is not at its best times, but i have an initial liking to the people there. I think it depends on the project I'll be working on. Right now the most exciting would be a big company that has a big stack in the online video space - think TiVo, YouTube, GoogleVideo, or Apple Tv. I hope Yahoo has big plans there especially after the NBCUniversal/NewsCorp new company.

As for startups, most people say the best thing is to join a growth company not at a very early stage - think Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn or eHarmony. However, this needs close networking which will take time and I it would be a huge risk. Another alternative, which is what i am working on, is to try and find a really cool early stage startup set to disrupt an industry - think powerset, joost, or xoopit. Here i have an advantage of the ESP funding offered by the Center of Entrepreneurship at the GSB to cover part of my compensation. I can land something quicker here but it requires more judgement.

The int' development at Africa is a huge decision. A big shift. I don't know much about what to expect. However it seems to be the kind of thing i can feel most comfortable and satisfied to contribute too - think acumen fund,, or one-acre-fund. Kiva is great place because they combine social entrepreneurship with interent technology, however, they don't offer summer internships. The ultimate thing though would be to Win-a-trip-Africa. I can't think of a more life changing experience than this one.

Some would say i am making too big of a confusion for myself, but i think it is worth.

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