Every so often, we’ll be spotlighting alumni and what they are up to these days. These Q&A sessions will give you a bit of insight into where the world has taken them since graduation.
This week, the spotlight is on Maci Peterson (BA/PRA ’09), CEO of tech start-up On Second Thought and creator of the text recall app
Peterson started out working for Washington Life Magazine doing Ad sales. She soon realized that working for a local luxury print magazine during the recession proved to be a difficult pairing and left to run her own digital magazine Mwari where she served as Founder and Editor-In-Chief. She later began working as a marketing strategist for The Root, a magazine started by The Washington Post, and after that as a global brand manager at Marriott International.
Peterson currently works as the CEO of On Second Thought, a tech startup that she co-founded. Recently mentioned on NBC’s Today Show, the technology allows users to take back messages before they get to the other person. The patented technology used in the app is currently being implemented across other platforms. In the near future users may be able to take back social media posts, peer-to-peer payments, documents, files, and anything sent from a mobile environment. Peterson’s goal is for On Second Thought’s technology to be the “universal undo”.
When asked about the biggest transitional challenge Peterson faced post-graduation, the recession came to the forefront. While she thought she was going to run her digital magazine Mwari full time, investments were hard to come by and she did not participate in recruiting season. She does, however, credit the recession for the successes of several startups that were pursued because of the restricted job market.
Peterson recalls the late Cory O’Connor as being one of the best professors she had at Chapman. She explains that at the end of her last class senior year, “He held up the LA Times and said, ‘This is going to be your textbook for the rest of your life’.” She continues to benefit from this lesson to this day and holds that being familiar with the news is the best tool for learning.
Peterson attributes her success to three main traits: faith, hustle, and persistence. She advises current Dodge College students to be bold and experimental. “College is the best time to try out any business idea,” she insists. “You can get access to anyone; you just have to show the hustle and ambition. As long as you have an idea, go after it.”
Peterson will receive the Distinguished Young Alumna Award at the 2017 Chapman Family Homecoming Celebration this fall.
Thank you for sharing, Maci, and congratulations!