The Paper Chase


So you think you have to deal with a lot of paper at work? Consider Maite Quinn. This young, energetic entrepreneur manages paper by the ton. Quinn ('05), an Executive MBA alumna of Baruch College's Zicklin School of Business, is president of Sprint Recycling of New York. For her success at Sprint, Quinn was recently featured in Crain's New York Business annual "Forty Under Forty" article, which honored 2007's outstanding young businesspeople.

Quinn took a roundabout route to the top of the paper heap. After graduating from college with a journalism degree, she started a television production company and was a director of Witnessing, a documentary about 9/11, and On the Team, a miniseries about a Brooklyn Little League team. Though successful, Quinn began looking for something more satisfying. "I always knew I was meant to be a businessperson," she says. "And I wanted to do something where I made a difference." Her interest in the environment led her to recycling and Sprint. She signed on there as a marketing consultant in 2003. In no time at all, she parlayed that into a full-time position as managing director. That's when she realized she needed more grounding in business practices, so she enrolled in the Executive MBA Program at Baruch. She found it immediately helpful.

Quinn says she wanted an MBA
to gain more self-assurance as a business person.
And her schooling at Baruch gave her that.

"At Baruch I was able to tie in my real-world experience and bring it to class," Quinn says. "I could bring work problems in to class, and I could take what I had learned in class on Saturday to work with me on Monday."

Quinn says she wanted an MBA to gain more self-assurance as a businessperson. And her schooling at Baruch gave her that. "The classes, the presentations, the support of my colleagues in class—all gave me confidence," she says. Quinn makes good use of that self-confidence in the business. Her job is not just about scheduling pickups of waste paper and other recyclables; it involves foreign trade, politics, and education. "I'm dealing with people in China and India," she says. "And, on the other side, I'm working with the City Council and the mayor." She also enjoys talking with the general public. "Many people feel that recycling is the only thing they can do personally to help to slow global warming," she explains.

"When I switched careers, I was hoping I could have an impact on something important," Quinn says. Her know-how and creativity have helped make Sprint the largest recycler of office paper in New York. After just a few years, her impact is clear.


Photo by Buck Ennis, courtesy of Crain's New York Business