Baker Institute Team
"Excitement for the future"
Melissa Goekbora '21 | Kinnelon, NJ
Major | Computer Science and Business
I applied for LSV because I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit but did not have a formal education in it. Additionally, I am studying computer science and business currently at Lehigh and therefore wanted to gain exposure to San Francisco and Silicon Valley to see if I could envision myself working on the west coast. I am from New Jersey and have always been set on living in New York City post-grad but did not want to leave out the option of the west coast as I realized there are a lot of opportunities here.
The major takeaway I hoped to get was interactions with key stakeholders in startups and investors. I also wanted to learn more about the venture capital scene and the due diligence that needs to take place for both startups and venture capitalists. I wanted to understand if I saw myself working in a startup based on the company culture and vertical growth opportunities. Lastly, I wanted to understand if my plan for the future was essentially a “good” plan.
LSV has absolutely delivered on these takeaways. I feel as if I can leave San Francisco with an abundance of knowledge and excitement for the future. I realized I can see myself working in a startup with smart individuals and collaborating to create a product that makes the world a better place. Although, I learned it needs to be a startup that is big enough to train me but small enough that it is still super interesting. From listening to the amazing speakers we have had, I learned that life beyond college is not a linear path but an arc of a giant circle. You will not always have an exact plan of what you want to do and even if you do have one, there can be many disruptors. Additionally, Maria Yap, the Vice President of Digital Imaging at Adobe stated, “What’s the worst thing that could happen? Just start.” That statement really stuck with me and helped me understand that I can pursue any life path I want, I just need to work hard and set my mind to it. Working hard is the most important differentiator that will deem success, especially in the tech space. After completing this program, I can definitely see myself on the west coast making a difference in tech, and scootering to work every day as a plus.