I'm currently looking for an opp to work with and learn from a company that's making people more awesome. If you're part of one of these companies, I made this page for you.
Hi, I'm Ankit Shah. I'm 20. I'm graduating from the the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in May 2013, but I only have two classes left. I'm in a weird limbo between being a student and a real person right now.
You're probably here because you want to see if I'm a crazy before you decide to get tea with me. Or you already know I'm a crazy and just wanted to see this awesome site I made.
You get a sense of the work I've done, some art I've made, and content I look to for inspiration. Look to the right!
Everything I can think of is cheesy or cliche, but I think, for me, it's something like, "Be good to others, and let the good come to you." The second part seems obvious, but it's not as common as you'd think.
I'd probably be making a green smoothie, running, hitting tennis, or driving to isolated fields or waterfronts, and walking around New York City with a fat smile on my face.
Well, that's true, but I don't know how much I've done so far. I've tried a lot of stuff -- some with success, some without. I've raised money and united some friends around for AIDS research and awareness thinking I'd end the epidemic, tried saving farm animals and mother nature with a vegan lifestyle. I bought a pair of Tom's Shoes (haha), cleaned up Ellis Island (...for a day). I did tissue engineering research thinking I could save babies of congenital heart defects. I served as a Big Brother to an awesome 10 year old in West Philly. I'm in the process of trying to create a better future for a handful of kids in India. I thought I was going to revolutionize classroom education with Alternote. I might be able to get some people to let go of the crazy pace of the internet with Patchberry.
Long story short -- I don't know if I've made a dent anywhere, but I'll keep trying.
Earned success and unwavering passion.
Regarding the former, I love when people work hard, overcome fears and get what they deserve. It's those tingles you get when your once out-of-shape acquaintance finishes their first half-marathon, when a kid gets into the college of her dreams, when your friend's music goes viral on Hype Machine.
Passion is cliche, but I think we're in a world that places so much emphasis on a specific definition of success that people forget that they can pursue their dreams and make it work. We have so much more time to do what we want than we realize, and those who recognize that, those who don't let a thing stand in the way between them and the world as they see it -- they keep me trucking.
tl;dr -- Was fat when young. Got in shape. Grew confident. Met Nipun Mehta. Learned that I could change the world. Found causes I was passionate about. Learned about social entrepreneurship. Got hyped by tech. Finally got my feet on the ground. Now inspired by social value that's enabled by technology.
Growing up, I was always kinda chubs and not super sociable. My cousins teased me a lot about it (out of love, of course), and I eventually got fed up and developed a calculated health regimen when I was 12. It worked. Couldn't run a mile straight in middle school, but ran a 5:20 mile at 14.
The whole health kick gave me lots of confidence (maybe too much), a sense of humor (I think), and some social skills. That was cool. It got me far in high school.
In 2007, I met Nipun Mehta, founder of ServiceSpace and one of the purest souls I've been blessed to know. His stories of kindness creating ripple effects in the world around him taught me that the good fortune I had could be used to create good fortune for people around me. It became clear that I could actually leave the world better than I found it.
The inspiration he planted in me led to lots of AIDS awareness efforts, four years of veganism (1.5 of which I ate strictly raw foods - lots of stories there), lots of random acts of kindness events, and an inner transformation that revolved around service. I started using twitter and tumblr to promote a lot of cause-related media in 2007, so I was kinda early on that boat.
Went to college in 2009. I lost myself and rediscovered myself more times than I could count. Eventually, I found myself immersed in lots of social entrepreneurship circles, whose vision for goodness inspired me. Somehow, I connected with a load of folks in the tech scene when it was just starting to blow up, and the constant movement ("hustle") caught me. Eventually, I got sucked into a lot of hype around all the new things that were popping up every day and lost sense of what was actually creating social value and what was trying to solve problems that never existed in the first place. I also realized, through relationships and traveling, how much technology superficialized (making up words) a lot of things in life.
That realization brings me to where I am now. I still think technology is incredibly powerful, but I want to make sure I approach it with caution. I'm hesitant of losing touch with the real world around me, but I know there's a way to use technology to make that real world better. That's what I want to do. Now I'm just finding the best way for me to do it.