News, On Campus

Farber Encourages Students to Follow Passions

In the late 1990s, Mike Farber, BC ’89, moved to San Francisco as the technology industry was changing. He worked at Schwartz Communications, spearheading the company’s new services in fields such as government relations and search marketing programs.

On Tuesday, undergraduate students had the opportunity to attend a lunch that featured Farber, who is now a partner at LaunchSquad. LaunchSquad is a public relations, content marketing, and video production agency with several offices across the United States.

Farber helped the founders create LaunchSquad while he was working at Schwartz Communications. He served as an adviser for the startup. Over a decade later, he joined the company himself and was tasked with creating the Boston office. The office now has roughly 20 employees, including Farber himself.

At the beginning of the event, Farber reminisced about some of his fondest memories at Boston College. Throughout his time at BC, Farber worked part-time at a Legal Seafood while also managing his school work as a communication and political science double major.

“I remember taking naps at the O’Neill Library between early morning classes and late shifts at Legal Seafood,” he said.

Post-graduation, Farber moved to Washington, D.C., to work at a nonprofit, before matriculating at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. At Penn, Farber had Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren as one of his professors. There, he realized that he wanted to change his career path and stray away from law.

After graduating from Penn, Farber had a brief career in broadcast journalism and realized that he wanted to work in public relations and marketing. Farber eventually moved to the West Coast, landing in San Francisco and taking a job at Schwartz.

Farber gave students three key pieces of advice.

He told students to focus less of their energy on a specific career path and more on a field that they are passionate about.

“Do not live life for a career, but rather what you want to do with your life as a human,” Farber said.

Farber told students about the importance of constantly engaging in self-reflection relating to both their personal and professional lives.

After he and his wife reflected on their personal life, they eventually decided that they preferred to raise their children on the East Coast, prompting them to move back to Massachusetts, where they currently reside.

Finally, Farber urged all budding entrepreneurs to do as much networking as possible when starting a new job, internship, or career.

Farber recalled meeting Rich Miner, a co-founder of Android, Inc., when Miner was a client of Schwartz Communications in San Francisco. Years later, that connection benefitted Farber when Miner became his first client at the LaunchSquad office in Boston.

At the end of his speech, Farber left time for a question-and-answer period. Students posed questions relating to his professionalism and attire in the workplace, to what use he put his law degree, and what kind of people should go into the technology industry.

To close out the speech, Farber explained to students why he chose to stay in Boston, rather than retreating to a tech-savvy area like Silicon Valley.

“One reason I brought LaunchSquad to Boston is because there are so many phenomenal companies here whose stories are dramatically under-told,” he said. “Contrary to popular belief, there are many bright minds and people willing to start innovative business throughout the country, as opposed to just Silicon Valley. Innovation can originate from anywhere, including BC.”

Featured Image by Amelie Trieu / Heights Editor

September 15, 2016