At 27, Peter Cuderman ’18 has already accomplished a lot.
After earning an MBA from Florida Coast University in 2013, Cuderman worked as a bank analyst, then started his own business consulting company, and also began teaching entrepreneurship at his alma mater. In 2015, not long after he enlisted in the Marine Corps, he started law school in Mitchell Hamline’s Hybrid J.D. program. In January of 2018, he was among the first students to graduate from the program on an accelerated schedule.
These days, he’s serving as the executive vice president of Bruno Total Home, a Naples, Fla., air conditioning, plumbing, electrical, and general contracting company. He’s also a candidate for a seat in the Florida House, serves in the Marine Reserves – now as a commissioned officer, and has a spot in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, or JAG, waiting for him after he passes the bar—which he plans to take in July.
With all he’s done, Cuderman is deeply interested in what is behind the success of other young people. He wanted to get into their mindset, so he sought out their stories and found a good sampling in the Forbes 30 under 30 list. The hundreds of profiles he saw made for an interesting read, but didn’t go into the detail he was hoping for, and that left him with several questions:
“What do these people do first thing in the morning? What is their day made up of? How do they overcome when they’re in a funk? What are examples of failures or setbacks?”
Cuderman decided he’d have to find the answers himself, and that’s when he set out to write his own book about successful people under the age of 30.
“I did this as a passion project,” he says. “Now I get to share it, and I’m excited about that.”
Cuderman’s book, 30 & Under: Short Life Advice from Outliers Under 30, features profiles of 70 young people from around the world. They’ve all excelled in their areas—from marketing and medicine to sports and entertainment. The book will be available in paperback and electronic versions on May 24.
Among the profiles in the book:
- Atisha Patel, 30, biomedical engineer working in research and development of bio systems, consulting, nonprofits, and early stage startups, on what she does when feeling overwhelmed. “If I can’t focus, I do a quick workout and get back to work. It’s a reminder that hard work pays off. If I feel overwhelmed, I’ll meditate and remind myself things always get better.”
- David Vasquez, 23, associate director of government affairs and policy, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, on how passion for his work has changed his life. “If I’ve ever reached the point of saying ‘getting through the work week,’ then I’ll know I’ve lost interest. I’m a strong believer that I never want to ‘get through’ anything. I want to challenge myself and embrace it.”
- Brett Podolsky, 29, entrepreneur, former comic, and co-founder of premium dog food company The Farmer’s Dog, on what he would tell his 17-year-old self. “Read! Believe it or not, you do not know everything.”
Cuderman says there are two themes he saw pop up throughout the profiles in the book—young people who are successful are committed to continuing their own growth and helping others as well.
The author himself learned a few things while writing the book, which he says has “a ton of good ideas.” For one, he found all of the accomplished young people he included in the book had a very specific routine. Whether that’s going to the gym first thing in the morning, planning out their weekly schedules on Sunday nights, or three hours of reading every day, routine is an important part of their lives. Cuderman says he does some of those same things, but admits he didn’t realize an exact routine was such an important part of being successful.