Each year, the Forbes Under 30 Summit gathers young innovators, industry leaders, and disrupters from a wide range of industries: technology, fashion, food, finance, entertainment, and more. The summit is four days of networking, A-list speakers, investor pitches, industry field trips, and even concerts.
This year’s summit will feature speakers such as: Serena Williams, former world No. 1 tennis player and CEO of Serena Ventures; Kevin Durant, NBA All-Star and Co-Founder/Partner of Thirty Five Ventures; Jenny Campbell, Tinder Chief Marketing Officer; 21 Savage, rapper and philanthropist; and more.
The Forbes Under 30 Scholars is a scholarship program and a partnership between Forbes and universities across the U.S. USC is one of the participating schools among a list of other elite institutions: Harvard, Yale, Columbia, MIT, UCLA, Princeton, amongst others. Talented and diverse students are selected to attend the summit free of charge. Applicants were asked to explain their interest in the summit and how they personally embody the tenets of leadership and innovation that comprise Forbes and its summit.
Meet some of the Trojans who will represent USC at the 2019 Forbes Under 30 Summit.
Krish Abrol is a sophomore from New Jersey and Mumbai, India, studying Business Administration and double minoring in Mathematical Finance and Computer Programming. During a summer internship at Franklin Templeton Investments, he learned about his interest in investment management and the valuable role of computer programming in analyzing data and financial products. His end goal is to build a career in investment management and banking.
At USC, Abrol finds his role as Delegate for the Undergraduate Student Government Leadership Fund to be most rewarding. He is, however, most passionate about serving as an investment analyst for Global Investment Society as it directly relates to his academic and professional pursuits. In India, he runs a start-up that works with the Indian government to provide pro-bono services, consulting, and training to students in the state of Maharashtra.
His passion for innovation and societal impact resulted in his application for the summit scholarship. “Going to an event where I can see people in finance, philanthropy, entertainment come together to talk about their lives and what they have learned and what I should learn before I begin that journey is the reason I wanted to go to this event,” said Abrol. He seeks to network with scholars and pitch to investors. Abrol is most excited to meet Kevin Durant and partners from Andreessen Horowitz to “learn about their life and journey.” He credits USC for refining his leadership, analytical and communication skills that rendered him a competitive candidate for such professional opportunities.
Natalia Murillo is a sophomore and first-generation college student from New Jersey, studying Neuroscience and Data Science with a Finance minor. She seeks to leverage the convergence of her interdisciplinary studies to create technology that assists people with neurological disorders. She wishes to become an entrepreneur in the future.
At USC, Murillo serves as Director of Community at Lavalab and is involved with Los Angeles Community Impact. Lavalab is particularly important to Murillo because “it has allowed [her] to look at large scale problems and see how [one] can come up with business solutions as a young entrepreneur.” Through USC, she was also able to participate in a fireside chat with Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel where she learned the value of a fearless mentality in innovation and entrepreneurship.
Much like her fellow Trojans, Murillo has been following the Forbes 30 Under 30 since high school and her goal is to be on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in the future. “Age should not matter in making a real impact in people’s lives,” said Murillo. She also appreciates Forbes’ mission in cultivating young talent, so she is interested to hear Palmer Lucky, Founder of Andruil Industries, and to pitch her ideas to investors. She is especially grateful to USC courses that taught her the skills necessary for high-pressure pitches and is humbled to have this opportunity.
Diego Garza Gonzalez
Diego Garza Gonzalez is a junior from Monterrey, Mexico, studying Business Administration. He is the Co-Founder of One Prize that unites tastiness and nutritional value in gluten-free, superfood chocolate bars. One Prize currently sells over 20,000 bars per month in Mexico and will launch sales in the U.S. starting November. When he is not busy making One Prize successful, he serves as Vice President of Client Services for The Consulting Club at USC.
He is excited to “listen to great minds...and learn about their experience” and is particularly interested in listening to Co-Founder of AllBirds, Tim Brown, whose podcast and story he has followed. In his application, Gonzalez ensured to show his embodiment of the Forbes values through his startup and its impact on public health.
Gonzalez credits USC and his fellow Trojans for supporting him with the application and his startup. “I messaged previous...attendants and they all helped me craft my essay answers and stories [for the application]. Furthermore, the [Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies] has helped...to formalize my company in the U.S. Overall, friends and professors have been very supportive,” he said.
Lily Brickman is a junior from New York and Germany studying Communication and double minoring in Entrepreneurship and Web Technologies and Applications. Brickman hopes to leverage her interdisciplinary skills and studies to work in the tech industry and eventually start her own company after college. By attending the summit, she hopes to meet fellow USC scholars; hear from executives of Poshmark, Seqouia Capital and Squarespace; and practice her investor pitches for future business goals.
On campus, she holds numerous positions and has worked for the Thornton School of Music, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, Marshall School of Business, and Viterbi School of Engineering. Her most rewarding commitment, however, is Spark SC which inspires entrepreneurship and innovation on campus and in Los Angeles. Brickman states that she finds it most rewarding “to be part of something bigger than yourself and being able to make a lasting impact.”
When asked about USC’s role in her successes, Brickman highlighted the support received from students, staff, and professors. Being a student of public high schools in New York where resources are limited, she has made the most of USC’s resources: “USC brings so many incredible people and events to campus - all I have to do is show up…[USC] has afforded me opportunities I truly don’t know that I’d be able to receive anywhere else,” said Brickman.
Manda Bwerevu is a senior studying Communications and Philosophy, Politics, and Law. Though he was born in Tanzania, he has lived in Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Kentucky. Following his upcoming graduation, Bwerevu plans to attend law school.
Among his many extracurricular activities, Bwerevu lists his role as Senator for the USC Undergraduate Student Government as the most rewarding and challenging. As a senator, he has represented the Black Student Assembly and the Environmental Student Assembly and focused on improving the experiences of racial minority students. His election as senator also contributed to his self-discovery: “...I faced ideological challenges and thought-provoking conversations...I learned a great deal about myself, the university and society at large during my time with USG and for that I am very grateful,” he said.
Bwerevu was encouraged to apply by a fellow USC peer who is also selected to attend the summit. Due to his law school entrance exams, he will not be attending the summit in person.
Anahita Dalmia is a senior from New Delhi, India, studying Narrative Studies and completing two minors in Entrepreneurship and Cinematic Arts. Through Narrative Studies, Dalmia has engaged with her interests in various forms of storytelling and a Cinematic Arts minor has enabled her exploration of storytelling in more complex forms by learning skills like interactive design. She has chosen to pursue an Entrepreneurship minor to help launch her business, Alterea, that leverages personalized narrative experiences and storytelling skills to increase brand engagement, customer retention, and more.
“I believe we’re seeing a transition from storytelling to storyliving. People are no longer satisfied [by] just indulging in passive story experiences - they want to be a part of it…” said Dalmia.
While the establishment of her business is her main commitment at the moment, Dalmia has taken advantage of the opportunities at USC. Besides being a Warren Bennis Scholar and Trojan Vision Producer, her most rewarding involvement has been as Assistant Director of Special Events for the Undergraduate Student Government. Her role as Assistant Director provided her the platform, funding, and ability to assemble a diverse team to execute events like Alohomora and Scend. Dalmia credits this experience for enabling her “to find people who [she] want(s) to continue to collaborate with for the rest of [her] life, develop the skill-set [she] need(s) to follow [her] particular professional journey.”
She also credits USC for being a constant resource and factor in enabling all of her achievements. “Undergraduate Student Government gave me the resources and platform to implement my dream. The large, diverse student population of USC allowed me to realize it. I had game design majors, business majors, theatre majors...working collaboratively on a project for free...I have taken the initiative to take advantage of the resources and opportunities around me, but it is USC that has provided them,” said Dalmia.
According to her, the summit is what one makes of it. For her, it was “life-changing” as she met a mentor to guide her through the challenges of an international entrepreneur in the creative field. She hopes to have a similar experience of cultivating more relationships and looks forward to seeing The Chainsmokers perform -her first concert in the last two years.
Zoe Aerin, a native of Pasadena and Sierra Madre, is completing her final semester at USC studying Business Administration with a specialization in Information Technology and a minor in Political Science. Professionally, she is interested in law and entrepreneurship so she hopes to merge both of her interests in the future.
Like her fellow Trojans, Aerin has been very active in the USC campus. In addition to serving as Vice President of Hospitality Industry Project, she has also been involved with Blackstone Launchpad or Incubate USC. “...[Incubate USC] is extremely rewarding, professionally. They constantly have events; I’ve been able to see Kobe Bryant and Gary Vaynerchuk speak, and have been so inspired by all of the students...starting their own businesses,” said Aerin.
Aerin acknowledges USC’s role in delivering such opportunities to its students. Indeed, she discovered the Forbes opportunity through the Career Center: “I know their weekly emails can be overwhelming, but I suggest actually opening them!” said Aerin.
At the summit, Aerin is looking forward to hear Kevint Durant, Founder of Poshmark Manish Chandra, and Serena Wiliams speak. She is also planning on participating in the Detroit community service day.
Sofia Bosch and Simon Nahigian are two other Trojans selected to attend the summit.
While the summit does not cover travel expenses, some students have received funding support from their respective schools and departments. Selected scholars also have access to an app that connects them with everyone at the summit.
The summit will take place in Detroit, Michigan, from Oct 27-30.