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  • Writer's pictureBaker Institute Team

In Their Own Words: Hanna Skinner '20

Updated: Sep 9, 2019

Hanna Skinner '20

Major | Political Science and Economics

In preparation for LehighSiliconValley, we read Getting to Plan B by Randy Komisar and John Mullins (a Lehigh Graduate, class of 1967!). We thought it was simply a guide to creating a successful business and pivoting when necessary. But it turned out to really be about mindset and attitude: being able to adapt and think critically in order to stay relevant. And so we began our journey with open and curious minds.

Thanks to alumni and friends of Lehigh on the west coast, The Baker Institute puts students together with founders of new companies and innovators in existing companies. A recurring theme emerged from many of them: they never expected to be where they are today. They had an idea, and worked incredibly hard to make it a reality. And most importantly they all said that the people you surround yourself make all the difference.

The Lehigh@ Nasdaq Center partnership allowed us to experience the Nasdaq closing bell ceremony on the day that Ibtihaj Muhammad was ringing the bell. No one knew that this olympic athlete and entrepreneur has been a hero of mine for several years. She has demonstrated her strength and perseverance as a Muslim woman, olympic athlete and entrepreneur and in the midst of turbulent and divided times uses her creativity and entrepreneurial spirit to make people a priority. I got to meet her that day and I was so inspired to be in her presence; one person can make a monumental societal impact with an idea that solves a real problem, as Muhammad has with her athletic apparel line for Muslim women.

We were introduced to many entrepreneurial thinkers, and do-ers. I have learned to start asking myself, why not try? Take the risk, and learn from it. My biggest take away though, was that what I do and what I create is only as good as the way it affects people: whether it’s making a great product, fostering a culture of creativity among a team of coworkers or having impact on the world in a way I haven’t even thought of yet!

My name is Hanna Skinner and I am an entrepreneur.

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