Entrepreneur and investor Mark Cuban drew a crowd of more than 400 people to Judson University’s campus Thursday as the inaugural guest in a new World Leaders Forum speaker series.
In an interview with 2004 Judson University alumnus and 2000 St. Charles High School graduate Mark Vargas, Cuban discussed business and politics, his path to entrepreneurship and his role on ABC’s hit show, “Shark Tank.”
“I was fired from a software store, living with five other guys and feeling stressed and stuck. I wanted to control my destiny, and starting my own company was the only way to do that,” Cuban said to the crowd gathered at Judson’s Herrick Chapel in Elgin. “My advice to students entering the workforce is that you don’t need to find the perfect job right away. Take that first job, find joy in the moment, approach it as a learning opportunity and get smarter every day.”
Cuban also discussed topics such as gun control, a proposed new model for health care, the importance of diversity in business, how he was affected by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, how he met his wife, lessons his parents taught him, his ongoing struggle to achieve a work-life balance and what it’s like to work with his fellow “Shark Tank” panelists.
“Mark Cuban is an innovative thinker and savvy businessman,” Judson University President Gene Crume said. “It’s valuable to hear about his successes and challenges on the road to success, especially during graduation season, as our students forge new paths ahead. It’s also important for the World Leaders Forum to create opportunities for our greater community to hear from inspiring leaders representing different viewpoints.”
Vargas, a health care tech entrepreneur and business adviser, invited Cuban to campus as the first guest in the new World Leaders Forum series, “Conversations with Mark Vargas.” The series is focused on lively, informal discussions covering a wide range of topics from current events to politics, business, life lessons, successes and failures, inspiring stories and more.
Proceeds from the event support entrepreneurship and diversity scholarships for students at Judson University. The eighth World Leaders Forum will be Oct. 8 in Schaumburg, with former U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy planned as the keynote speaker.
The discussion will be led by best-selling author and nationally syndicated radio host Eric Metaxas. Tickets for the World Leaders Forum are available at judsonu.edu.