How did Rollins prepare you to make such a bold move?
“My story is a reminder that we have no idea what kinds of jobs will be available five years or 20 years from now. But I truly feel that a liberal arts school like Rollins can provide the best training for whatever is to come. It’s all about identifying problems and solving them in a team context—like in the real world.”
Do you see those skills in other people too?
“I’ve helped get us ramped up to 45 employees, so I see problem-solving and collaboration skills from the other side in a heartbeat. Like most up-and-coming businesses, that’s what we’re looking for.”
How satisfying is it to see how far Fattmerchant has come in three years?
“I’m a firm believer in being blessed and the value of hard work. It isn’t luck. Fast Company profiled us twice, and we were mentioned in the same context as Netflix and Spotify. It’s been incredibly validating and worth all the lost sleep over the past three or four years.”
What about the future reliance on artificial intelligence (AI)? Should that be scary?
“Not really. At Rollins we were always challenged to look at the world from a variety of lenses. That’s a huge skill to take into the workforce, and anyone with that kind of training shouldn’t fear losing career opportunities to AI.”
And to think, you weren’t even thinking of going to Rollins.
“I really thought I wanted those big classes in college. I even had a vision for what my dorm room would look like.”
Then you visited your sister.
“Three things struck me on that visit. The beauty of the campus. The way I saw people being so personable and helpful. And, as corny as it sounds, the campus just felt like home. I never could have planned the odd path I’ve taken, but now it seems like it was all meant to be.”