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Aug 7, 2020
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Hi there, I’m Paulina Karpis, brunchwork’s cofounder and CEO.

Our story begins 5 years ago. Despite working in finance, I felt priced out of an MBA. A price tag of $200,000 plus two years of lost wages? That just didn’t seem worth it to me.

At the same, I recognized that business skills have never been more important to long-term career success. The only jobs that are truly future-proof are those that can’t easily be automated or outsourced. One key category is management roles that require a high level of interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence and experience.

So, I set out to reimagine business education.

Before I could do that, though, I had one pretty big barrier to overcome: My concept was centered around experts sharing their knowledge, but I didn’t know a single business leader. I was a recent college grad with no network.

I cold emailed several alumni at my alma mater and a behavioral scientist named Jon Levy. I had read about Jon’s work in The New York Times, and thought he’d be an interesting speaker.

When I met with Jon, he probed me on every aspect of the business. It became clear he wasn’t just interested in speaking. He wanted to get involved. I was impressed by his accomplishments:

Behavior scientist focused on decision making
• Known for his work modeling influence and creating The Influencers
• A recognized super connector

Jon pivoted brunchwork toward active learning by introducing our core concept: the Audience Challenge. Guests work in small, curated teams on a business case and get real time feedback from the speakers.

Together, we deconstructed the MBA and reverse engineered the benefits:

• A network of smart peers and business leaders
• Dynamic knowledge of business trends and skills, without the debt
• Access to career opportunities

Nowadays, brunchwork attracts as many MBA alumni as would-be applicants. We realized that the MBA’s biggest flaw is that it’s too short. The world is changing at a breakneck speed, and our generation needs continuous learning to thrive.

When Covid hit, 100% of our revenue was in jeopardy. We successfully transitioned our beloved, in-person experience to digital. We have two programs:

1) 2-Month Business Intensive: Sharpen 8 core business skills and build a portfolio of sophisticated projects to leverage when you’re up for promotion, interviewing or starting a company. Comes with a membership.

2) Membership: Unlimited access to interactive workshops with top business and tech leaders. Perks include speaker intros, guest passes, and a video library.

We’re passionate about delivering modern business education and improving higher ed. Thanks for being along for the ride!

– Paulina

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