How He Hustled
As a student-athlete, Robert's days began with early morning practices before spending long hours in the books studying for his degree in engineering from Drexel University. Since 11, Robert’s free time was consumed by soccer. He believed that to be his path until his 4 years of athletic eligibility were up (a standard policy in NCAA athletics in which athletes can only play sports at a university for 4 years). "I realized I hadn't really traveled anywhere besides going somewhere for soccer," Robert recalled. This realization occurred while Robert was accepting the engineering corporate environment did not suit his interests any longer. Instead of doing an internship before his senior year at Drexel, Robert planned a trip to Africa to work with young athletes in sports education programs. That decision led him down an entirely new path.
A nationwide teacher strike greeted Robert when he landed in Kenya, forcing him to find another way to get involved. Driven by a desire to make an impact, Robert and another volunteer teamed up with a local friend to help repair roofs for the oncoming rainy season. The trio used tarps and whatever else they could find to patch mud huts in the slums of Kibera. Funding the trip and supplies for the roof repairs himself made Robert realize there was a serious need to help support volunteers making an impact abroad. "The only place I'd really seen funding for volunteers was programs like Duke Engage or other schools funding their students,” Robert stated as a catalyst for founding his nonprofit Volunteer Aid. Today, Volunteer Aid works hard to fund volunteers internationally for trips to every continent. His group is also looking for strategic partners to help support their growing efforts. "It's a big chance to help people make an impact and teach them a lot about themselves by immersing them in a foreign culture," said Robert.
Now that he has returned home, Robert splits his time between his nonprofit and finding clients for his growing media company, Moledro Media. Robert's hobby of videography and his social media expertise thoroughly developed during his time abroad. Currently, his hobby has evolved and has secured media deals with athletes, restaurants, and apparel brands from across the U.S. During his interview, Robert highlighted Instagram as a major avenue for helping build a freelance business. "You shouldn't be afraid to message anyone... use the tool that is Instagram,” he advised. Today, Moledro's website hosts a growing list of partners. Talented and determined, Robert is focused on developing his skills as a creator.
Throughout our conversation with Robert, we were consistently impressed by his ability to take on challenges and put all his effort into any goal he set his mind too. We'll be following his travels closely to stay up to date with Volunteer Aid and look forward to the latest release from Moledro Media. If the future is comparable to Robert’s accomplishments in the past, it's going to be a fun ride.
GO TRAVEL. - History is littered with examples of successful businesses deriving from people's experiences abroad. Nike and GoPro are just two of the many impressive companies that grew from "realizations" while traveling. Soon, we’ll be adding Robert and Volunteer Aid to this list as their impact remains at the core of their mission.
INSTAGRAM IS THE NEW LINKEDIN FOR FREELANCERS. - Instagram has emerged as a reliable tool for collaboration and digital “cold calling.” Freelancers from all industries can benefit from using Instagram for professional purposes and even may land their next gig.
PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE. - From patching roofs in Africa to his first freelance video client, Robert's habit of moving outside his comfort zone has served him well. His confident approach towards anyone has been a key factor in getting him to where he is today.
Follow Robert - here
Support Volunteer Aid - here
Check out Moledro Media - here
Edited by: Sammi Meksvanh - Digital Content Specialist