I recently spoke with award-winning author and next generation career expert Lindsey Pollak for a Q&A for her website. Lindsey is incredibly thoughtful and engaging, and I loved the questions she asked me about starting and running Baking for Good. I thought I’d share a few of the questions and answers here, and I hope you’ll read on for the rest of the interview here.
Fun fact: I first encountered Lindsey last winter, when she ordered lots of holiday cookie gifts from Baking for Good!
Q: Can you please describe Baking for Good?
A: Baking for Good is an online bakery inspired by the idea of a bake sale. We bake delicious, all-natural brownies, cookies and other sweet treats, and we give 15 percent of every purchase to a charity the customer chooses. We’re currently working with over 200 nonprofit and community organizations. We ship nationwide, so our products make great gifts and can be customized for any occasion.
Q: You were in the same class at Harvard and even the same dorm, Kirkland House, as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. I’ll refrain from asking lots of questions about Zuck and instead ask: Do you think your entrepreneurial ambitions started in college?
A: When I was in college, I saw various classmates starting businesses, but at that time I expected that I would stay on a more traditional path. Becoming a lawyer or a doctor was a lot easier to wrap my head around than starting my own business. But when I look back now, I realize that I was entrepreneurial from a really young age. I loved to do craft projects (think rubber stamps, polymer clay and decoupage), and I started mini, short-lived businesses with many of my hobbies when I was little.
Q: What is your advice to current college students with dreams of starting a business someday?
A: I think business experience of any kind is immensely helpful for college students with dreams of starting a business. It would be awesome to intern at a start-up or in a big company, but even aside from such “obvious” opportunities, working in a retail store or waiting tables can be really eye-opening and formative. I worked for several summers at an ice cream store, and I learned a ton about customer service, management and small business operations.