Launching New Adventures
Petra Grubisic, Eller Business Economics and Entrepreneurship ’10
By Liz Warren-Pederson
Petra Grubisic came to the UA with a built-in network: her brother and several friends were already Wildcats. She had her eye on grad school all along, and zeroed in on economics and entrepreneurship, with a math minor.
“I love math, and I love problem-solving,” she explained. “Entrepreneurship offered the chance to tackle problem-solving and economics brings social science and math together. I wanted to understand how different variables interact in a business to achieve its goals.”
After graduating in 2010, she entered the London School of Economics and Political Science for a master’s program in local economic development. The program is focused on how the interactions between local and regional agencies and the private sector can stimulate local economies.
“It gave me a broad theoretical core to draw on,” Grubisic said. “We looked at issues of local capacity building, the presence of human capital, challenges of attracting investment, network building, infrastructure, and the innovation economy as a motor for growth.”
“When I came back from London, I joined a startup,” she continued. As director of brand and marketing and an equity partner in Picmonic, a company focused on visual memorization techniques for med students, she worked on the business plan, raised $800,000 in six months, and developed branding and marketing strategy. “It was great working with a small team and taking the project through to launch,” she said.
From that granular experience in the startup world, she moved back into a bigger-picture role in an internship assignment in research and strategy with the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC). “The project was in policy research with the Brookings Institution,” Grubisic said.
With that assignment complete, she’s planning a move to San Diego. “I’m a bit of a free spirit,” she said. “Each transition I’ve had since graduating from Eller – from grad school to working on the a startup through a contact of mine, then GPEC – has brought growth. I’m looking forward to expanding my horizons over the next few months.”
She’s eagerly anticipating San Diego: “The city has an exciting economy, very much a startup economy, with lots of cool things happening. It’s always a place I’ve wanted to experience.”