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  • Writer's pictureBaker Institute Team

"I will strive to be my most authentic self."

Anna Lehman '21 | FinTech Major | Finance Minor | Computer Science Hometown | Ivyland, PA

Every so often in life, we hear advice that resonates with us for years to come. The moments in which this advice is given are special and can contribute greatly to decisions that we make in the future. So far in my time here at LehighSiliconValley, I have experienced more of these memorable moments than I maybe have in my 20 years of adolescence. At the end of every session, our group thanks the speaker(s) by standing up and saying something that we realized, or learned, from their presentations. Some of the most memorable moments thus far have been highlighted through these realizations.

On the first day, Tom Gillis taught us that through your job, you will meet amazing people that will give you a purpose to persevere even when times are getting hard at work. Because of this realization, I will continue to value the people around me and extract as much knowledge from them as possible. In the past, I have often let my competitiveness get the best of me, and I have left people behind in the process of pursuing what I want. I will no longer do this. Instead, I will put people first because in the words of Tom Gillis, the people make the company worth your while, the product does not.

Another important realization occurred for me from our time with both Nils Johnson and Tim Eades. Both of these entrepreneurs taught the importance of authenticity through their enthusiasm for their products and their bold candor. I have so much respect for the two of them, and I have learned to be transparent in all of my future endeavors. I will strive to be my most authentic self, and I will show confidence in the talent and skills that I bring to the table. From our time with Ann Lewnes and Sandy Stelling, I learned to capitalize on my strengths and use prior experience in unrelated fields to my advantage. Because of this realization, I will recognize my own strengths and continue to improve them. I will confidently exhibit these strengths to employers when exploring my career aspirations.

In regard to my career aspirations, I am very interested in growing fields, and technology is at the forefront of that. Additionally, I am interested in financial markets. My career aspirations include analyzing financial markets and potentially investing in technology companies that could shape the future. Essentially, my end goal is to be involved in venture capital investments in technology companies. The next steps I need to take to get there are first and foremost to research and read as much as I can. An overarching theme of this past week has been to prepare yourself and acquire as much knowledge as you possibly can. At this stage in my life, I have a lack of experience. In order to combat this lack of experience, the next best thing is to read about the experiences of others. Additionally, I would like to learn more about technology and become an expert in the field, so I can eventually identify what technology I believe will be a home run. I am going to do this by pursuing a computer science minor.

This has been a jam-packed educational experience that has taught me more than I could possibly imagine in such a short amount of time. The different perspectives I have heard have enlightened me and inspired me to find a balance among the differing advice and carry them all with me throughout the next steps in my career. I will never forget these realization moments, and I am forever thankful to my fellow LehighSiliconValley participants for creating this incredible environment where I have learned so much.

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