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Craig Schlanger

Entrepreneur and Co-founder of Apple Seeds LLC, Class of '92

What do you do for a living and what’s it like?

Entrepreneur - co-founder of Apple Seeds LLC and Apple Seeds Franchising LLC.  We are a children's entertainment company operating company owned playgrounds in NYC and a music franchise with 20+ locations nationwide.  I left my previous job as a healthcare trader at Goldman Sachs in 2007 to start this business.   While life is probably more stressful as a business owner, the autonomy is the real trade off.

How would you describe the value of an English degree in your career/life?

My ability to write in a clear, concise and persuasive fashion and has helped me tremendously as an entrepreneur.  Not only do I recognize and appreciate this in my own writing, I often recognize both skill and lapses in everything i read and am often called upon for revisions and editing.  I am also an avid reader and constantly learning because i am consumed with newspapers, fiction and non-fiction text.

 Who were some of your favorite professors/classes and why?

It's really been a long time to pinpoint specific classes.  However, the flexibility of an LS&A education allowed me to also study in depth accounting, econ, stats and other courses that have proved quite helpful in the business world.

What literature from your English classes shaped you?

I actually developed more of an affinity for reading as an adult.  Courses focused on writing were really what had the greatest impact on my future.

Do you have any advice for incoming English majors at Michigan?

Have an open mind about your future.  LS&A and the English major in particular will provide the basic skills of "how to learn" and " how to communicate" that will prove very valuable when applied to the real world.  Also, it is important to use your electives to explore outside of the English Dept.

What are some of your favorite memories from Michigan?

Spring term when the weather in Ann Arbor is perfect.  Grateful Dead at Crisler Arena.  Desmond's catch against Notre Dame.