Advice to Scholars: From Lansinoh Laboratories Global VP for Innovation Rush Bartlett

Posted November 18, 2019


On November 10, Forty Acres Society members Brian Haley, BA ’04, JD ’09 and his wife Caroline, MBA ’12, Life Members, hosted Forty Acres scholars in their home for dinner and a discussion with Rush Bartlett, BS ’08, Life Member. 

2019 Texas Exes Outstanding Young Texas Ex Award recipient, Rush Bartlett is the Global Vice President for Innovation at Lansinoh Laboratories and the Associate Director of Corporate Education at Stanford University’s Byers Center for Biodesign. He has founded several medical technology companies and is an accomplished inventor with 15 issued patents. Bartlett also co-created Primo Lacto, a device to help mothers feed their premature infants. At UT Austin, where Bartlett studied chemical engineering, he was a Camp Texas counselor and a saxophone player in the Longhorn Band. 

Forty Acres discussions are an opportunity for scholars to hear from alumni about their journeys on the Forty Acres and their paths post-graduation. The informal setting allows the speaker and scholars to interact, share, and learn. Over dinner, Bartlett shared with scholars three ways to set themselves up for success as undergrads: 

1. Seek out mentors 

“If you’re want to know about something that no one you’re talking to has done before, then their advice is only as good as an opinion. You need to seek out mentors that have done what you want to do. In my case, it was identifying people that had achieved what I wanted to achieve, like Michael Akerman. I saw what his path had been, and I just replicated it. You can emulate a lot of people to get to where you want to go. Make sure you are getting the right kinds of advice and listening with different ways depending on who you are getting advice from.” 

2. Look for the open door 

“When you look back on life, you will be able to see times where major disappointments ended up being the best possible things—and you never could have predicted them. So many doors have closed on me in my life, some that were just completely heartbreaking at the time. But you have to kind of have faith that things are working out for a reason, and you have to be looking for the next open door.”  

 3. Set goals—and don’t stop 

“If you have a goal, do not stop, because the only way not to succeed is to stop. It may take you more time than what you intended, it may be a different path, but you are all very gifted, brilliant folks, and you have all these advantages, and so you can do whatever you want to do as long as you define that goal. That’s probably the hardest question to answer: What do you want to do? The easiest thing that you can do right now is do stuff like this—go listen to a bunch of people talk, go travel, go study abroad— take advantage of every opportunity you have on campus. But figure out where you want to go."