Attracted to both business and marketing, Lauren Taylor Wolfe (CALS ‘00) was excited at the opportunity to gain experience running something of her own in a supportive environment such as SAI and served as General Manager of Campus Promotions. When Lauren first joined the team, there were numerous scattered product and service lines across SAI: a Greek Directory, Coupon Super Saver, dining and nightlife guides, and chalking services. Lauren took the initiative from the beginning to pitch the benefits of uniting these product and service offerings under her business, bundling them as one SAI marketing product, ultimately adding new revenue streams to Campus Promotions.
Lauren remembers that her daily schedule at Cornell was filled with attending classes, TA’ing, and writing her thesis on the growth of e-commerce, but what really set her apart from her peers was her work at SAI. While younger people are increasingly engaging in entrepreneurial ventures today, when Lauren was studying at Cornell it was truly rare to have the chance to manage a team of employees, develop sales and marketing skills, and put oneself out there to interact with diverse groups of people as an undergraduate student. Lauren’s sales experience at Campus Promotions fostered interpersonal development and relationships that she couldn’t have gained anywhere else while studying at Cornell.
Upon graduating magna cum laude from Cornell, Lauren started her career at Diamond Technology Partners, a strategic technology consulting firm. Several years later she received her MBA from The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania and transitioned to activist investing. As co-founder and Managing Partner of Impactive Capital, an activist hedge fund, Lauren makes long-term investments in companies and works to improve both their businesses and shareholder returns. She is passionate about driving returns without sacrificing the environment or social good. Her fund focuses on how companies can drive both profitability and sustainability through capital allocation enhancements, strategic and operational improvements, capital structure optimization, and environmental social governance change. Reflecting on her experience at CP, Lauren is eager to take on the responsibility of running her own company, Impactive Capital, once again and having the autonomy to make critical decisions to best serve her clients.
Lauren advises students to think deeply about the major trends that will drive the economy and shape the world five to ten years into the future while at Cornell, and to pursue those opportunities. Time is your most important asset. Be thoughtful about which role will give you the best return on your time and offer you the chance to gain the most knowledge, when recruiting for internships and full-time positions. Be willing to take risks in an effort to pursue your true passions, and you will be successful.