Google employee Matthew Neagle took a small tea bag from his pocket, claiming it was a rocket.
Although one might imagine that building a rocket would take a team of engineers, extensive planning and an intricate understanding of rocket science, Neagle needed none of these things.
With a couple of quick folds and a flick of his lighter, the tea bag shot up from the table.
Neagle’s intent was to demonstrate the entrepreneurial value of “the capacity to believe in something beyond what you can see or imagine.”
Neagle, a 29-year-old University alum, led a hands-on lecture with about 100 students yesterday in the Stamps Auditorium of the Walgreen Drama Center. He stressed the importance of taking leadership positions in extracurricular activities. His presentation was sponsored by the Epeians Engineering Leadership Honor Society.
In his address, Neagle gave three keys to success: strong vision, genuine interest and a solid network. He urged students to take risks.
“Somewhere in your world, there’s a choice,” he told the crowd. “There is risk involved, and you have to take that chance, that choice. Don’t spend time chasing after what someone else has created. Create it for yourself.”
Neagle spent eight years filling his resume before taking a job with Google about two years ago. He said was rewarded for taking personal risks to pursue a job with the web giant. He said he was attracted to the company for its innovative business model, saying innovation is a key component to success.
The end of Neagle’s talk focused on networking. He asked audience members to mingle, network and meet as many people as possible.
Engineering junior Ashwin Lalendran, co-founder of the student entrepreneurship group MPowered and one of several students to speak at the event, said he was already fulfilling Neagle’s request, describing MPowered’s members as “missionaries spreading the religion of entrepreneurship to campus.”
Other students seemed to enjoy the event. Engineering sophomore Akshay Patel was one of them.
“I thought the lecture was fresh, interesting and lively,” he said.