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Entrepreneur Randi Zuckerberg finds success without ever having had a Plan B

When you think of the words bubbly, hard-working, motivated and kind, you should think of Randi Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg, who appeared at University at Buffalo’s Alumni Arena on Oct. 26 as part of UB’s Distinguished Speaker Series, had a critical role in the development of the social media platform Facebook, went on to become an entrepreneur and has written several books.

At UB, Zuckerberg spoke about her career at Facebook, being a female entrepreneur and the dominant role of technology plays in everyday life.

Born in New York, Zuckerberg is a Harvard graduate who had a dream of singing opera on Broadway, but was rejected from Harvard’s music program (she did, however, have the chance to perform on Broadway in "Rock of Ages").

She eventually went on to study psychology, marketing and business, and after graduation, got a job in New York City at Ogilvy & Mather, a top advertising, marketing and public relations agency.

Zuckerberg was just an ordinary woman working an ordinary job when she got a call from her little brother, Mark Zuckerberg, asking her to be the director of marketing development for his new innovation, Facebook.

So, she gave up her New York City lifestyle for Facebook and the Silicon Valley.

Facebook started out with only 10 employees; now, there are more than 10,000. Like any company, Facebook started off slowly, and with hard work, motivation, and no plan B, Facebook made it big.

Now, Facebook is a multibillion dollar company. Pretty much everyone you know, and their parents, is on Facebook. There is now a Facebook Live button, where you can stream online live for as long as you want. You can message people from your phone through Facebook Messenger, and so much more.

After seven years, Zuckerberg resigned from her position at Facebook, moved back to New York City, had two kids, and went on to create two of her own companies, Zuckerberg Media and DOT Complicated.

The idea of both of these companies, she said, is to put smart, entrepreneurial girls into the pop culture world.

She wrote two books, "Dot Complicated" for adults, which explains how technology and social media affect our everyday lives, and "Dot," for children, about a clever little girl who knows a lot about technology and electronic devices. She even has her own TV show called "Dot," based on her children’s book. The channel airs every Saturday on Sprout.

Philanthropically, Zuckerberg says she supports any organization that involves women’s rights and women in the business field.

Anything that involves women making a difference and women working hard is something that she is more than willing to support.

What is most interesting about Zuckerberg is the fact that she never went into the entrepreneurial world with a plan B.

For example, with Facebook, she was always a believer in the company. She said she never had a fear of the company failing, and she and the team worked hard every day to make sure that the company was successful.

It was the same way with her other two business innovations. She was just confident in her own work and knew that she was going to succeed.

Cassandra Mihalczo is a senior at Sacred Heart Academy.


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