By Benjamin Lioue
The Collective Entrepreneurs Organization, also know as C.E.O., hosted a luncheon with approximately 20 students on Thursday, April 17th with guest speaker Jack Killion, a serial entrepreneur. A “Serial Entrepreneur” is defined as someone who continuously comes up with new ideas and starts new businesses. After a warm welcome from the President of C.E.O., Michelle Alen, Killion began to tell his story.
Killion has utilized his networking and client development skills to build a highly diversified career. He currently manages the Eagle Rock Diversified Fund, a successful fund-of-hedge funds, that he launched in 2001. Previously, He started and/or headed companies in multi-media consumer and business-to-business publishing (Harpers, Country Music Magazine and Wireless For the Corporate User), venture capital and industrial equipment manufacturing sectors. He also partnered to develop commercial real estate properties in Florida. Early in his career, Killion worked in the UK for a British technology company as head of one of their divisions and consulted with the heads of Fortune 500 type organizations while with McKinsey & Company, one of the leading international management-consulting firms.
He has also been giving back in many facets like teaching at the MBA level of Rutgers University, Montclair State, and Fairleigh Dickinson Universities for 20 years. Also, he is on the board of many non-profits such as Medical Missions for Children, the Garden State Woman Education Foundation and the Park Avenue Club that is owned by 11 charities.
But most importantly, what advice does he have for the average Rutgers-Newark business school student that could help? First, Killion stressed that networking is a vital key to success as a business, he also talked about the importance of focus on quality people in your network and focus on a quality organization that will help you grow. He also talked about the skills needed to be successful, such as excellent communication skills, adaptability, and speedy analytical skills. In addition, Killion explained that students need to always be looking for the next opportunity, working where the action is within an organization, and unafraid of failure.
Killion then asked the students in attendance this question: “What is a successful entrepreneur?” The students responded with an array of answers. Afterwards, he stated “A successful entrepreneur has the positive attitude, is a risk taker, acts, finds creative solutions, capitalizes on solutions, is passionate, creates change, operates on limited resources, limits the number of mistakes he/she makes, attracts people, focuses on improvements. But, most importantly, he/she can be of any age, any gender, and any background.”