“There isn’t a person in the world I wouldn’t recommend this to.”

Despite establishing impressive records in soccer, indoor track, and lacrosse, and despite being named the male athlete who contributed the most to athletics in his high school, Andy Boudreau passed on a lacrosse try-out opportunity at John Hopkins to concentrate on something completely different: a student-run start-up researching intellectual property.

“Technology Commercialization enthralled me,” says Andy. After he and his friends failed to land jobs at Hopkins’ technology transfer office, they decided to strike out on their own. “We saw a notoriously inefficient system. The school was missing out on revenues and the world was missing out on terrific new innovations.”

The business, Hopkins Technology Commercialization Agency, started with five students and quickly found “a lot of demand inside the university and out.” After just one semester, Andy was promoted to Enterprise Manager. By the time he had graduated, staff doubled to ten students and the agency had researched approximately 26 technologies. Among them were flexible circuit boards and a wafer-thin semiconductor manufacturing process.

Muddy ventures and clearly valuable relationships

While at Hopkins, Andy heard a campus speaker talk about the 2+2 program for college students interested in the HBS MBA. Andy applied, got in, and spent the next two years expanding his work experience, first with a consulting firm that investigated the litigious aspects of intellectual property issues, then with the U.S. Soccer Foundation. During a three-month stint in between, Andy explored Italy to learn more about soccer and his family roots.

Reflecting on the HBS experience, Andy notes that, “at Hopkins, I got a very technical education, but one with little focus on relationships. At HBS, the value of the relationships I’m building – and the emphasis the school places on them – is unbelievable. My colleagues have already helped me make connections, generate ideas, and get interviews – they’ve opened a whole other aspect of being a professional I hadn’t appreciated before. There isn’t a person in the world I wouldn’t recommend this to.”

Andy hasn’t lost his appetite for sports. For his summer internship, he will be working for Raptor Accelerator, managing the American tour of Italian Series A football team AS Roma.