"The entire time I was engaged."
Abby Gabriel '20 | Start Up
Major | Accounting Minor | Real Estate
Hometown | Franklin Lakes, NJ
I first heard of LehighSiliconValley from a friend who had participated in the program last winter. She raved about it, but as an entrepreneurship minor and having had participated in a Baker summer program, I assumed she loved it because it was very clearly geared towards her interests. As the semester went on, she told everyone they should apply because of how amazing the program was. I considered it but never thought I would actually go through with applying. As summer approached, I decided to intern in Tel Aviv at a small start-up, which kick-started my general curiosity into start-ups. When it was time for LSV information sessions this past semester, my friend reminded me of the program and encouraged me to go. As an accounting major needing 150 credits, an extra 3 over winter break sounded great and I was still on a high from my amazing experience with Israeli start-ups. The information session sold me, but I could not have expected how amazing the program was actually going to be.
Once accepted to LSV, my initial reaction was panic: I didn’t know anyone else going, I knew close nothing about entrepreneurship, and thought I was way in over my head. I eventually worked through all of this and showed up to the first live case prepared and ready to take on the challenge. I was expecting to be bored at times and confused, but I was far from correct. The entire time I was engaged with the speakers and had a great time working with my team on the CryoConcepts live case. That day wiped away all of my fears and made me beyond excited to make it out to San Francisco.
After an unbelievable 4 days of core programming and a glimpse into the start-up track today, my expectations have been completely surpassed. I have been challenged to think in ways I never have before and have gotten the chance to meet so many amazing people. I have learned more in these past few days than I have in some full semester classes, and know it is information that I will keep with me for the rest of my life. I can't wait to see what the last two days of the program hold, and know I will be getting on the plane back to New Jersey unwillingly on Thursday.