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The Hatchery 2022 Reflections: "Being Capable Starts With You"

Read more from Hatchery student Ashley Nguyen '25, Marketing, as she reflects on her experience in the Baker Institute's signature summer experience, The Hatchery Student Idea Accelerator...


Author: Ashley Nguyen '25

"Walking out of Wilbur room 242 at the end of week one, I realized that I am only as capable as I believe I can be. As they say, “the sky's the limit.” We as individuals must stand up to the occasion, put forth the effort, time and commitment to see where it takes us. I learned that the outcome of my work is not what should worry or fear me, but rather take those challenges head-on. Even through failures, comes a gratifying experience as we come to understand the efforts it takes to be your own entrepreneur.


Ashley Nguyen (right) and Hejia Wang (left) smile after passing Stage 1 at Eureka Pitch Night

Coming into Hatchery, I was so surprised to see all the talented and accomplished members that I began to question my own capabilities and the knowledge that I would be able to bring to my team.


As I later found my teammate and started my venture project, my passion and drive started strong. But, quickly, as I found all the difficulties associated with our topic and stumbled upon others working on similar projects, I began to lose the drive I once had.




I was my most prominent critic in the beginning stages of the venture project. I had unknowingly placed down expectations for myself that would make me feel like there was pressure to be a certain level of “capable.” Through meetings with my coaches, I see that time constraints do not bound our state of progression. I have learned that being in a happy and collected environment encapsulates a healthy workspace to be content with the progress that is made.


Back at the beginning stages of finding what aligns with my team's interests, we decided to change to a new topic altogether. At this point, I was nervous and began questioning if I was behind, mainly when most teams had already successfully passed stage one of pitch night. With just me and one my teammate, we worked together to get caught up, and as we spoke with our coaches, our confidence began to rush back in. Our drive was evident, spending nights after-hours to progress on our venture to get to where we are now. Over the past four weeks of Hatchery, I have learned how a driving motivation is key to progression. Without the knowledge I gained through this program from training sessions, guest speakers, and hands-on experience of quick prototyping, I would never have truly realized how capable we are.


For those who have passed by my reflection, I hope for you to take with you that mistakes and failures are not to be looked down upon. Instead, take those moments as learning points to grow and, as Chris Kauzmann says, 'celebrate failures'."


Hatchery Project: Switch Kicks takes a unique approach to traditional children’s

shoes. Just as children grow up fast, so do their feet. We are Switch Kicks, a kid’s shoe that grows with you!


Two Hatchery students smile and hold a sign that reads "Creativity & Innovation Lab."
Ashley Nguyen and Hejia Wang smile for a photo after winning second overall place in the t-shirt design competition

In Case You Missed It: Read more from our Hatchery 2022 students about their experience in our one-of-a-kind program HERE.

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