By: Joseph Hwang
On February 27th, eleven students in the Compass Fellowship set out from the front gates of Georgetown to meet with Neil Shah, fellow Hoya and Co-Founder of the Compass Fellowship. The Compass Fellowship is an organization that offers valuable resources and mentorship for first-year students in the realm of social entrepreneurship.
Neil led the Compass Fellows on a tour through his office in the co-working space, WeWork in Chinatown. The beautiful co-working space featured elegant lighting, sliding glass walls, and an abundance of lounges with amenities that contributed to the space’s industrial and entrepreneurial ambience. Many entrepreneurs typed away on their laptops at the sanded wooden desks and on the comfortable couches.
By the end of the tour, Neil led the fellows into a conference room for a brief discussion. After going around the table and individually greeting the student entrepreneurs, Neil introduced himself and shared his experience as an entrepreneur. As a “serial entrepreneur,” he had engaged with entrepreneurship from a young age, constructing lemonade stands and Lego structures to sell for profit. While studying business at Georgetown University, he also started an Ethical Tea Trading company. After a variety of other startup experiences, he founded Aspire, a startup that helps companies create meaningful workplaces for their employees.
From his experiences with a variety of positions, Neil offered the Fellows some wisdom: “Look for the characteristics of the job that you would like – not the industry. Then, you’ll find the right job.” He emphasized personalizing the job search experience as well as every aspect of life. Neil seemed very comfortable in sharing his lessons from failures and excited about the student interest in entrepreneurship. The Compass Fellows and mentors also seemed as enthusiastic as Neil about this opportunity. Cindy Gao, a sophomore mentor, recalled, “I really appreciated that Neil was able to share his advice on a career in entrepreneurship, knowledge and insights that are not as readily accessible as that of more established industries and career paths.”
Neil Shah is currently looking to grow his company Aspire, which has multiple openings for full-time jobs and plenty of perks.