How one MBA went from Lehman Brothers to high-pressure juice

(Poets&Quants) — Hillary Lewis awoke on a clear September morning in 2013 in Charlottesville, Va. with an awful feeling. She’d overslept to 7:30 a.m.


Lewis decided to earn an MBA. In her essays, she laid out three goals: 1. Start my own company 2. Use U.S. manufacturers 3. Provide some sort of public service. In 2011, she enrolled at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business determined to launch her own enterprise.

Lewis dived into the school’s entrepreneurship activities. Her first year, she attended the Jefferson Innovation Summit and remembers being inspired by John Mackey, the co-founder and co-CEO of Whole Foods Market. For her summer internship, she worked for Altamar Brands, a spirits startup, while subletting a room in a friend’s Boston apartment. Her bosses were on either coast, leaving her to find her own way and set her own schedule, an experience she says prepped her for running a company solo…

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