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  • Writer's pictureBaker Institute Team

"We are miners equipped with questions instead of pickaxes"

Charlotte Maria '21 | FinTech

Major | Accounting Minor | Computer Science and Business Information Systems Hometown | Wilkes-Barre, PA

With complete honesty, I can say that I have never learned more lessons more quickly than I have in the last seven days. LehighSiliconValley has enabled my classmates and me to hear from trial-and-error-hardened entrepreneurs in a strikingly candid way and to harvest their lessons without doing any risk taking ourselves. To my peers’ credit, it takes high quality, thoughtful questions to draw out this value, but I cannot overstate the brilliance of each founder. They are intellectual gold mines, and this week we are miners equipped with questions instead of pickaxes. Our next step is to use this intellectual gold to invest in the futures we are building for ourselves.

My goals for the future have shifted in just seven short days. Before LSV, I thought the more practical my aspirations, the better. I aimed to answer the question, “What career will give me a safe, stable life?” and the only course of action I deemed reasonable was the well-traveled one taken by most people in my major. Now that I am more aware of the alternatives, I aspire to be able to point to a unique, fulfilling career as the answer to a question posed by many of the entrepreneurs we heard from: “What gets you out of bed in the morning?”

A goal is valueless without a plan. As Ann Lewnes of Adobe said in her time with us last Saturday, “There are flag planters, and there are road builders.” She meant there are two types of people: visionaries who set goals and achievers who reach them. Each function is fruitless without the other. But as individuals we don’t have the luxury of performing only one of these functions and outsourcing the other; we must act as both in turn to reach our personal goals. Thanks to LSV, my flag is planted and now I must build my road. Going forward, I already have plans to switch one of my spring classes out for one that is less relevant to my major but more in line with my interests. Long term, I plan to pay more attention to the world outside the “college bubble” by reading daily email newsletters and investing some of my savings. I also plan to keep in touch with those speakers whose stories really resonated with me so that I can continue to draw upon them for inspiration long after LSV has ended.

For the first time in my life, I’m excited about my future rather than just scared and unsure. LSV has prompted me to consider many exciting life paths that would never have otherwise crossed my mind. Through participating in the program, I have developed not only a better understanding of what I want in the future, but also the first few steps to get there.

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