Last week’s BEAR! (no wait BULL!) market reminded me of a conversation I had a while back with Brian Richards, Managing Editor at The Motley Fool, a financial services company based out of Alexandria, VA (just a hop over the Potomac in DC). Click here to see Brian’s last fifty articles.
I asked Brian how he got into finance after MAPH, where he wrote his thesis on the topic of (depending on how you look at it, either perfectly applicable to finance, or not) horror films. At the conclusion of the program, he got a job in academic book publishing, and it was this first move after graduation that helped shape his career. “That’s where I got my skills and my vocation in editing,” he says. He worked on the academic side of the publishing industry for three years before finding an editorial opening at The Fool.
Brian says he had always considered stock-watching a hobby (heeding advice from his grandfather to invest wisely and be mindful of his money), and it made sense to apply editing skills in a field where he already had interest. This was especially true, given the background of The Fool‘s founders. “We’re very stock and investing focused,” Brian says, “but the guys who founded the company were English majors.” (Hence the company’s name, a nod to Shakespeare). Today, the site aims to publish sharp analysis of stocks, providing investors with insights and leaving news reporting and aggregation to other outlets.
“We leave questions about what happened to other publications,” Richards says. “We provide the so what and now what.”
Indexes are off a percentage point today on bad news from the German economy. So……..now what?
Brian lives in Washington, DC with his wife and two children (the second of which arrived just two months ago). Congrats!
MAPH Alums from the inaugural Class of 1997 have been checking in over the past week. I’ll be talking with Adam Richardson, based in San Francisco–where he is Strategy Director for Marketing at Frog Design–tomorrow. In what must be a copious amount of spare time, Adam blogs about design at Amphibious Blog. This very morning, he published a short piece on Failure (no matter what you might hear, Failure is Failure)on the Harvard Business Review‘s blog. And in the video above, find him talking about “misfits,” Space Tourism, and software at the 2010 TEDx Taipei.
(Oh, just by the way, he also wrote Innovation X: Why a Company’s Toughest Problems are Also its Greatest Advantages).
It kind of makes me want to go for a run, or do some pushups, or at least think in a sustained way about something for more than five seconds.
Michelle Ruvolo: Proof that there’s life in the Corporate World after MAPH.
Michelle Ruvolo applied directly to MAPH during her senior year of college and arrived in Hyde Park the following fall. “I didn’t have any plans,” she recalled when we spoke on the phone last week. Like many incoming MAPHers, Ruvolo did have a sense that the academic life was where she wanted to be after graduation. “I thought I wanted to do a PhD and be a professor in the humanities,” she said. But her perspective changed by the end of first quarter.
“I came to terms with the fact I wasn’t going to do a PhD,” she remembered. “I needed to decide what skills I would need in my next life.”
As a MAPH student, Ruvolo took courses across departments—everything from Social Thought and Philosophy, to English and Math. She completed her thesis with then-Program Director Professor Candace Vogler as her advisor, on a topic inspired by readings from Professor Arnold Davidson’s Foucault class. Continue reading →