This is the fourth post in our Client Spotlight series, where we share interesting stories and answers from our fun entrepreneurial clients. Be sure to check out previous spotlights of Liz Lockard & the Jetsons, and Nathalie Lussier’s coffee with Egyptian royalty.
Kaneisha Grayson is the founder of The Art of Applying, an admissions consulting firm that has grown from using us for their Startup Plan, to partnering with us for more comprehensive General Counsel work. Here are some fun facts about Kaneisha:
What’s the strangest job you’ve ever had?
It wasn’t an official job, but for many weeks of high school, I would get to school at 5:30 am to cook breakfast tacos in my high school Home Economics kitchen with a group of my friends and sell them to our classmates. We were raising money to go on a field trip with Future Business Leaders of America (and later to raise money for our senior prom). Those tacos were so full of sodium and so delicious!
What do you think businesses will look like in 100 years?
I’m fascinated by futurology and enjoy reading the blogs of futurists, so I love this question! In 100 years, I think that most people’s work will operate like an independent business. We will have humanoid artificially intelligent assistants who are reliable, emotionally intelligent, and able to make decisions in ambiguous situations. We will still desire face-to-face interaction, but we will be able to achieve this through using holographic technology. You can have a lunch meeting in a boardroom in Shanghai at noon and then have a public speaking engagement in an Accra classroom two hours later. Unless some very cool advancements happen soon, I won’t be around in 100 years, but I would love to be a hologram teacher that tours around the world teaching!
If you could have coffee with any business person (dead or alive), whom would you pick?
I would love to have an outdoor walking date with George Washington Carver and have him walk me through his fields of soybean, peanuts, corn, etc. and then through his lab to show me where he creates all his innovations. We would definitely be eating fresh popcorn on our walking date as well. I love to eat, and we all have Mr. Carver to thank for our easy access to many of the foods we enjoy today.
Outside the U.S., what country or culture inspires you the most?
I am most inspired by French culture. I love their notion of profiter, to take advantage of the moment. In French culture, adults are always looking for ways to enjoy the present moment, whether it’s spending hours savoring a delicious bottle of wine with a home cooked meal or turning an ordinary drive through the country into an impromptu opportunity for a picnic (I’m getting these examples from the book Bringing Up Bebe). I also love how French people go on vacation for several weeks a year, take frequent breaks at work, and don’t over-identify with their jobs. I also love the idea of going to little specialized markets for everything I want to buy: a place for wine, a place for cheese, a market for meat, etc.
What’s the weirdest or most surprising skill you possess?
I can listen to and follow several conversations at the same time. I can be talking to one person in front of me as well as following the conversations happening at nearby tables. I once read that this is a sign of ADHD, so I’m not sure if this skill is as strange as I think—or even a skill.
About Kaneisha: Kaneisha Grayson is the founder of The Art of Applying, an admissions consulting firm that has helped over 250 clients gain admission to the world’s top MBA, MPP, and JD programs as well as helped her clients earn over $3.2 million in scholarships and fellowships. She started The Art of Applying in May 2010 while an MBA & MPA student at Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School, and received a $10,000 grant from HBS to support her in starting her business. She is also the author of the self-help book Be Your Own Boyfriend, and plans to write many more. She lives, plays, and eats tacos in Austin, Texas with her husband. You can find Kaneisha on Twitter @ArtofApplying or on Facebook as The Art of Applying.