To me, having an entrepreneurial mindset means to be willing to explore many solutions to one problem, be accepting of other perspectives, and being open to new experiences. Entrepreneurs aim to create, to build, and the ability to manage problems in a business setting effectively cannot be achieved if the entrepreneur isn’t flexible, creative, or receptive to constructive criticism. From my conversations with recruiters, professors, and EIRs, I learned about the importance of reading the room and assertiveness in a professional setting (especially as a woman of color in a male-dominated workplace)—the same sentiment was echoed during Dr. Kelly’s tour of the financial district yesterday as he talked about American vs. Irish work and study culture through a cooking analogy. Throughout this trip, I have been exposed to both large and smaller companies that prioritize innovation, adaptability, and sustainability, and it has been an incredible opportunity that has helped me get a better understanding of my strengths and weaknesses.
I have always been someone that relies on meeting notes, agenda, and excessive planning for a confidence boost in an academic and professional setting. Listening to Dr. Kelly and companies like ThinkHouse and the GEC has motivated me to try and embrace uncertainty and be more adaptable/adaptive, which may very well lead to rewarding opportunities that I may not have learned about if I strictly followed the “Google maps”. Through my service learning course this spring, I learned that I had room for improvement when it comes to anticipating the consequences of a decision and persuading people. I heard about the immense pressure entrepreneurs are under during the pitch competitions at GEC and as an aspiring entrepreneur, I was honestly terrified. At the same time, I also would like to seriously work on my persuasion skills and make an attempt to take on challenging leadership positions to gain more experience. While having set plans and rubrics provide a sense of security, through this program, I’m starting to realize that spontaneity and open minded conversations have a much larger appeal.