By Alexander Slavitz
For many students, the thought of graduating brings a lot of fear. Questions like, “What if I can’t get a job when I graduate?” or “What if the best job I can get isn’t good enough?” become constant obsessions. For Anthony Pompliano ’12, these thoughts are irrelevant. As of Nov. 1, Pompliano and three friends have launched a company called The Community Corkboard. Instead of looking for a job, he has created one.
“[The Community Corkboard] brings the face to face interaction people have into an online community,” Pompliano said.
The Community Corkboard is an online business that compiles an index of students, alumni and university supporters. It allows private schools to sign up for free and the Corkboard will build the directory themselves. Parents, alumni and other supporters can join this community by paying a monthly fee and a majority of the profits are then donated back to the school. The community also has a job board where the school and supporters can post new work opportunities.
To many students, the idea of creating a business might seem a bit daunting, but to Pompliano, this should not be a concern.
“I wish more students took the time to try to start a business. People have good ideas. You never know unless you try. When I started out, I had no idea how to run a business, but I’ve learned more in the past seven months than I have in any classroom,” Pompliano said.
Pompliano admitted that starting a business does require certain “life skills.” For him, serving in the military for two years between his sophomore and junior years led him to develop those qualities. He said his important skills are “leadership management skills, the ability to think outside the box, and not second guessing [my]self.”
“Students learn the same things on campus. All you have to do is take what you know and do it. The best way is to learn by doing it. The worst-case scenario, you fail miserably. Then, you can try again or apply the knowledge you gained from your experience to your future job,” Pompliano said.
Creating a business doesn’t always have to take a long time. In May, Pompliano and his three friends realized they were going to need jobs, so they began to look into a variety of industries with the question of how to raise money while also ensuring business in their minds. As of Nov. 1, 2011, the site is up and running.
Pompliano attributes the idea of The Community Corkboard to identifying a problem that they wanted to solve.
“A lot of people are part of a community and they’re proud of it. This community fosters unity [with its members], who might begin to do business together. It allows people to market themselves in this way,” Pompliano said.