In a Hollywood comedy, a business school graduate is a bottom-line fanatic.
But for John Schaefer, his 2006 degree from IU's Kelley School of Business on the IUPUI campus offers a very different "bottom line": an opportunity to serve.
Just a year after graduation, the slender and energetic Indianapolis native finds himself the director of operations for Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita, applying those Kelley business principles and lessons to the day-to-day business of a major state office.
But Schaefer also finds himself applying something more to his life from his days at IUPUI: a spirit of service and volunteerism that "make me feel that I'm part of something bigger, something special."
It's that business-mentality-with-a-service-twist that put Schaefer on this year's prestigious Indianapolis Business Journal "40 Under 40" list, which spotlights up-and-coming business and civic leaders in Indianapolis.
Schaefer's passion for volunteerism and service started early, even before he enrolled at IUPUI. But "the campus culture for service really opened my eyes to new ways" to help those around him, he says.
While at IUPUI, he organized the first WRTV-6 Fan Jam, a project that offered concert tickets and free pizza to anyone donating a fan to help Hoosiers in need get through the summer heat. He also founded and continues to lead "Inspire Indiana," a group that helps disadvantaged youths attend college.
"Our goal is to help inspire kids to go to college by giving them a glimpse of a day in the life of an engineer, a teacher, a lawyer," says Schaefer. "It's amazing how often just a little time with someone who already has 'made it' will open the eyes of 16- and 17-year-olds trying to find their way."
Schaefer has found an eager pool of professionals willing to share their time, their insights and their expertise with high school students on the cusp of life choices.