Sarah Botwinick '19 | Software Engineering
Major | Computer Science and Business
Minor | Entrepreneurship
Hometown | West Caldwell, NJ
So far throughout this program I have learned so much about the startup ecosystem that is present out here in the Silicon Valley. Prior to this course I had never really met or had a chance to interact in an intimate setting with the founder of a company. Hearing these entrepreneurs’ stories has taught me so much about the skills required to found a company and make it successful. Something I have heard over and over again from so many of the speakers in our program is how difficult it is to be an entrepreneur. I always knew starting a company was difficult, but now hearing the actual stories and struggles these entrepreneurs have gone through, I have a new understanding and appreciation for what they do.
While I don’t see myself becoming an entrepreneur any time in the near future, I have picked up many new skills and insights from the presentations this week. I learned from Ann Lewnes of Adobe to not get lost in the shuffle, if I don’t get a response from someone after reaching out, I should follow up. I learned from Sandy Stelling of Alaska Air that engineers don’t have to be rigid, its ok to still be creative. Creative engineers solve problems the best. Tim Eades from vArmour talked about the importance of knowing your products and the best way to portray to people what they do. Tom Gillis of VMware highlighted the importance of making time for your ventures. Being too busy should never be an excuse for not getting things done. These important things I have learned, along with many other key insights from presenters throughout this week have taught me so much about what I can expect in my future career. I am grateful for the opportunities this program has given me to talk to such high achieving individuals. I look forward to these upcoming days where I will be able to talk to more people in the silicon valley who are specifically working in software engineering. I have learned so much already, but I know there is even more learning to come.