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"You never know what you might like until you do it”: Adrian Isufi’s Story

​​​​Driehaus Cup

​It’s your first quarter of college. You’re still making the transition from high school. You’re still figuring out how to balance coursework, a job, making friends, finding your purpose.

And, oh yeah:  in your Business 101 class, you’re also tasked with developing a business plan that meets a need you see in your community.

That’s the story of many students who enrolled in Business 101. It’s also the story of Adrian Isufi, whose team, made up almost entirely of freshmen, was one of two winners of the inaugural Driehaus Cup competition in fall 2022.

His team’s pitch, for a tool called NTWRK, arose from one especially important aspect of the college experience: figuring out your career goals.

“A few of us had gone to job fairs around campus,” he says, “and it was challenging.” Challenging to keep track of all the employers they’d met; challenging to stay on top of whom to follow up with, and how to do so seamlessly.

They designed NTWRK, Adrian says, “to give students like ourselves a chance to network at a younger age.”

They envisioned an app that would allow users to connect with the tap of a phone. At the core of this vision was the idea of making an often-daunting experience easier: more approachable, more familiar.

The same could be said of what Adrian has taken away from the experience a year later.

He regularly draws on the public speaking skills he honed, he says. He learned the importance of compromise when working as a team.

The Business 101 curriculum, he reflects, has also helped him be intentional about how he spends his time at Driehaus.

Now entering his sophomore year, Adrian remains undecided. He is drawn to majors like finance and entrepreneurship. The Business 101 experience, he says, showed him the value of keeping his options open.

“I didn’t even know that entrepreneurship was a major,” until Business 101, he says. It was the first course of study, he says, that “really spoke to me. I liked the idea of building something with your own two hands.”

The takeaway Adrian has for students like him?

“You should find something you like. Take some classes you wouldn’t normally take. You never know what you might like until you do it.”

This piece is part of Voices of the Driehaus Cup, a series of five interviews with students who competed in the first three Driehaus Cup competitions. In this series, you'll hear from a wide range of voices: first-year students and transfer students; seasoned entrepreneurs and students just embarking on their careers. One through-line: Competing in the Driehaus Cup helped all five students push themselves into the next phase of their career.