Joel Holland is the diametric opposite of what you’d expect a 20-year-old company president, nationally-read columnist, and Internet celebrity to be like. In place of a cockiness one would anticipate from someone important enough to chat in-person with A-listers like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steve Forbes, and Jimmy Kimmel, this Babson College sophomore is remarkably humble about his long list of accomplishments. A distinct mixture of student, producer, journalist, and entrepreneur, Holland already has enough bragging rights to last at least a decade, but he’s too focused on the future to blow his own horn.
Perhaps staying grounded is what propelled Holland to success in the first place. Honing his financial skills at age 12, Holland began his entrepreneurial tenure by finding and selling lost golf balls from a homemade cart. At age 13, Joel launched his first Web design company, and by high school, the teenage whiz kid was already investigating potential career paths by interviewing area business leaders for a job column in his school newspaper.
With a company and column already under his belt, Holland’s career counselor urged him to volunteer with Kidz Online, a nonprofit organization that teaches students, parents, and teachers how to use the latest technology.
“I went there and was blown away,” Holland comments. “I loved the kids, I loved the gadgetry…I immediately got hooked on it.”
As Kidz Online grew, so did Holland’s involvement. When the organization received a multi-million dollar grant from Nortel Networks, Holland had his own ideas about how to use the money.
“I proposed a television show where I would go all over the country interviewing celebrities about their careers,” he states. “We would keep it edgy, keep it fun…students like myself have no attention span.”
The result was Streaming Futures, an Internet-based webcast in which Holland actually does jet set around the United States interviewing top-tier journalists, CEOs, entertainers, government officials, and anyone else who’s at the peek of their field. Produced and hosted by Joel, Streaming Futures is designed to give students insider information on how to score the hottest jobs. Want to know what it’s like to protect the President? Check out Joel’s interview with Danny Spriggs, Deputy Director of the Secret Service. Interested in how to score an internship in Hollywood? Download Holland’s chat with the producer of Spiderman and Spiderman II.
As for the host himself, he’s getting all the career information he needs through work with Streaming Futures, the monthly column he writes for Entrepreneur Magazine, and his newest project, The Footage Firm, which sells video stock footage to companies around the world.
When asked about the secret to his success, Holland simply states, “I’m ignorant. I don’t really mind shooting for the stars because I’m too ignorant of failure.” Armed with a résumé more impressive than that of many corporate executives, Joel Holland is living proof that this kind of ignorance may truly be bliss.
When asked about the secret to his success, Holland simply states, “I’m ignorant. I don’t really mind shooting for the stars because I’m too ignorant of failure.”
Armed with a résumé more impressive than that of many corporate executives, Joel Holland is living proof that this kind of ignorance may truly be bliss.