Reflection from a Ruhr Transatlantic Fellow
In early August, the Baker Institute virtually hosted a week-long innovation and entrepreneurial mindset intensive for the 2020 Transatlantic Ruhr Fellows from Universität Duisburg-Essen, TU Dortmundand, and Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany. After completing their training, these fellows will move on to internships in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
Below are reflections on the intensive from one of the fellows:
University | Ruhr-Universität Bochum Major | Master of Arts: European Culture and Economy
When I signed onto the first zoom call of the week, heart racing and head full of worries about how this digital program was going to work out, I was scared. But now, as the week comes to an end and I (again) sit in front of my laptop, something has clearly shifted. I’m not sure what I expected to gain from this week-long, intensive entrepreneurship program at
Lehigh’s Baker Institute, but I certainly did not expect to make new friends. The
interpersonal connection shared even through the screen was incredible, and I want to
extend my gratefulness to the whole team that enabled us participants to communicate
freely and openly with one another, clearing away any doubts I had in mind.
I did not consider myself an entrepreneur, or an innovative thinker – and quite frankly, I still don’t. It is hard for me to come up with business ideas on my own, and I oftentimes feel
overwhelmed with leadership roles. But what this program has taught me is this: It doesn’t
matter. As long as I am passionate about solving problems and creating solutions for others,
I am able to contribute in a meaningful manner. I now feel more equipped to work in a team
with a diverse set of people, and what’s more, it was all remotely.
Although every session had its time and place, intricately crafted into a seamless program,
one of the earlier sessions really hit home for me. We were asked to participate in the
Clifton’s strength assessment, and we then discussed how we could incorporate our
identified strengths into our teams and future work. As the number one strength for me was
empathy, I especially resonated with this session’s lesson to utilise what I am already
excelling at, and I believe this session has helped me see more ways in which I can do just
that in the future.
Overall, the program leaves me feeling grateful, inspired, and motivated to chase my
dreams. Although I haven’t figured them out just yet, this new-found entrepreneurial spirit
will surely serve as a guiding light in my future endeavours. Thank you to the Baker Institute!