From no callbacks to calling the shots

Zach Cutler graduated 19 months ago with no job and no appealing prospects.

But after his original job offer from Newscorp fell through, he decided to create his own company – a public relations and business development firm.

“I’ve always had an entrepreneur spirit and always knew that I wanted to create my own company, but never thought it would happen so soon after graduating,” Cutler said.

The Cutler Group started with four clients and grew to 15, ranging from food and beverage companies to an Israeli parliament member. In a paperless office free of cubicles, Cutler’s young employees all work together in one room.

Cutler believes small businesses like his have an advantage over larger corporations.

“Your clients will get more bang for their buck. They have bright, young energetic people who just came out of school, learned new ideas and new practices and you have an advantage,” he said.

Sophomore Shaili Patel started as one of Zach’s interns this past summer, and now works as an integrated marketing associate for the firm.

“There’s more room for creativity and growth,” Patel said. “I don’t think I could ever learn these skills through another company at such an entry-level position.”

To break up his employees’ daily schedules, Patel said the young employees of The Cutler Group bounce ideas off each other in spontaneous brainstorming sessions.

“It’s an advantage to have young people work because they’re constantly researching new ways to do things. They’re not afraid to take risks,” Patel said.

But, Cutler said, there are downsides to starting your own business. When Cutler lost several of his clients at one time, he considered closing his business because the company lost a lot of money.

“I was saying, ‘Is this really worth it, putting in so much time and effort and barely scraping by?'” Cutler said. “When clients drop, it’s kind of traumatic.”

But Cutler advises future graduates looking to start up their own businesses to stick with it.

“One thing I would say to all aspiring entrepreneurs is: If you’re confident, persistent and moral, you’ll be able to accomplish whatever you want. Those are the things that I’ve held close and it’s paid off,” he said.

In the end, Cutler said he would rather put in the extra effort of running his own business.

“Sometimes I was tempted to take a corporate job and not have to deal with all the stress. You get through those hurdles and it’s very rewarding,” Cutler said.

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