Baker Institute Team
“Every person has something to teach and something to learn.”
Tracey Miller '20 | Holliston, MA
Major | Material Science & Engineering
Minor | Entrepreneurship
When I applied to LSV, I did not know if starting a business was for me, and thus did not think of myself as an entrepreneur. While I still do not in the conventional sense, my definition of what it means to be an entrepreneur has changed greatly.
Yesterday, we had the opportunity to go to LinkedIn and have a session with Lee Ann Hutter, the Senior Director of Product Design. She spoke about what it was like to watch the company grow to having over 15,000 employees across several different countries, and about how despite the size, LinkedIn has managed to channel an entrepreneurial mindset. For example, once a month, employees have “Hack Days,” where they get together and brainstorm creative new ideas.
In addition to speaking about creativity, Lee Ann shared more of her story about how she became a leader within LinkedIn. She mentioned that she did not necessarily want to become the manager of her team, but that she was appointed because she had shown leadership qualities that were reflected in her work ethic and the relationships she had with others. One of the important takeaways from most of the entrepreneurs we have had a chance to speak to is the ability to be the right fit for a job. In Lee Ann’s case, it was to be the leader even if she didn’t necessarily picture herself there. In the case of Donna DeMarco, the Vice President at Viddler, despite being one of the cofounders, she recognized that she was not necessarily the right fit to be the CEO. Being able to assess your own strengths and work with the people around you to build a successful team was not always apparent to me in terms of defining ‘entrepreneurship’, and is something I hope to apply to my own career.
This really resonated with me because I had never been exposed to entrepreneurship in this way. Rather than focusing on the action of starting a business, the focus was much more in being creative and looking for ways to do that within your career. Experiences such as this session at LinkedIn helped me to learn that I don’t need to necessarily be an entrepreneur to embody entrepreneurship, and that it can be as simple as being more passionate and thoughtful in order to channel creativity and help reach success.