Jay Yunas ’22 attends Forbes Under 30 Summit
When Jay Yunas ’22 applied for the Forbes Under 30 scholarship last summer, he didn’t think he’d actually be chosen to attend the program’s four-day summit in Detroit, Michigan, alongside the likes of tennis star Serena Williams, Squarespace founder and CEO Anthony Casalena, and a long list of the world’s most influential entrepreneurs, inventors, athletes and movie stars.
But in a welcomed surprise, Yunas was selected as part of an exclusive group of 1,000 scholars from across the U.S. to participate in the summit’s events, which included lectures led by international business leaders and celebrities, networking events with potential employers and investors and a variety of industry-specific field trips throughout the Detroit area. The scholarship, which provided free access to the summit, is part of Forbes’ Under 30 program that identifies the most talented students and young professionals under the age of 30 each year in a wide range of fields.
“I honestly did not expect to get selected, but I am thrilled to have had this incredible opportunity to meet and learn from a diverse group of innovative thinkers and problem-solvers,” said Yunas, an international student from India majoring in computer science and economics with a minor in finance.
“I especially enjoyed interacting with other scholars and professionals who are passionately working toward purpose-driven business, and connecting that knowledge with the work I’m doing at Conn, particularly within the framework of the Entrepreneurship, Social Innovation, Value and Change Pathway.”
The summit, which took place Oct. 27-30, convened young, diverse and innovative scholars and professionals from more than 70 countries to share ideas, network and collaborate. Detroit was chosen to host the summit because of the city’s rich history of innovation and entrepreneurship that make for an ideal setting.
“This is a very prestigious event and was a terrific opportunity for Jay to meet other young scholars who share his passion and to receive advice from top leaders in their respective industries,” said Carmela Patton, associate dean of the College, dean of the sophomores and international student adviser. “We’re very proud of Jay and excited that he was able to represent Connecticut College at this summit.”
More than 200 presenters spoke on a diverse range of topics, including robotics, art and design, transforming the marketing industry, technology and cybersecurity, gaming, politics, solving a financial crisis, and building a billion-dollar company.
“Most notable for me were the founders of Squarespace and Shutterstock, technology entrepreneurs who began on their own, fulfilling roles across the design, tech and finance departments until their company was large enough to hire more employees,” Yunas said.
He also enjoyed hearing from athletes Kevin Durant and Serena Williams.
“Their roles as business-owners showed how hard they work on and off the court, which was really inspiring. As a sports fan, especially when it comes to basketball, having an opportunity to learn from two of the world’s greatest and most influential athletes was a dream come true for me.”