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  • Writer's pictureBaker Institute Team

LSV2022 Reflections: "People are what matter the most..."

Read more from LSV2022 student Dannah VanPraagh '23, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, as she reflects on her experience in the Baker Institute's flagship winter term immersion program this year...

"Silicon Valley was always solely an idea of a technology-based hub of startup culture in my eyes. What I quickly discovered through the LehighSiliconValley program was the common thread that people are what matter the most. Top executives and founders of creative, successful companies all shared the idea that Keith Janosky stated perfectly, 'People is what you should invest in.' Ideas, products, brands, and technology are very important features to consider for investments and partnerships, but with the right person success is likely right around the corner. This is applicable to my possible career opportunities in finding the right company fit, determining a partner in my own business ventures, or selecting board members to trust with my vision.

Dannah VanPraagh '23

Human interaction and connection were absolutely my strongest takeaways from LSV, not only because of the incredible advice we heard, but also because of the connections within our cohort as well. Day after day, all of the informal and side conversations with each and every person on this trip was impactful in one way or another. Whether we were helping expand our networks, challenging each other's thoughts, supporting startup ideas, or just plain laughing about nonsense, every moment is a memory I will take with me. At least once a day we sat around the hotel atrium in amazement that this unique group of wonderful people were now suddenly in the same room. This was so incredible because we could not imagine any moment back on campus where this group would gather. We are all have different backgrounds, experiences, majors, and most importantly, different perspectives. Going forward, I will absolutely value bringing together many diverse perspectives to tackle any issue at hand.

Before going to LSV I had never thought the entrepreneurial mindset could be applied to a job within a large company. For the most part, guests I have met were either an entrepreneur in their role in a large corporation, or they were a founder of a startup. I have previously struggled with how I wanted to approach my career but have now found I can definitely make an impact that can trickle up and down the ladder within any company I work for. I additionally have so many tools in my toolkit to be successful in my own entrepreneurially endeavors as well. My confidence going forward into my final years of structured education has exponentially increased after exploring many possible avenues of what it means to be an entrepreneur."

In Case You Missed It: Read more from our LSV2022 students about their experience in our one-of-a-kind program HERE.

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