Baker Institute Team
"Wildest, unimaginable ideas"
Sharon Jo '23
Major | Journalism
Track | Creativity
Everything that made up Hatchery made me realize that the only thing that was stopping myself from being able to work on something was myself. When I was first trying to come up with project ideas, I was so discouraged by my ideas because I was worried about failing or not understanding an aspect of the project. It was also intimidating to see what people were already thinking of doing and their projects seemed way cooler than mine. It seemed like my project had to be something that would solve one of the world’s greatest problems.
But from day one, the Baker Team aimed to eradicate any sense of doubt or uncertainty. They pushed us to think of the wildest, unimaginable ideas, then helped us to refine them. It never felt like something was a bad idea - it just needed some brainstorming. I also quickly learned that many people were in the same boat as me and were struggling to think of projects. It was comforting to know that and to be able to meet awesome people that were willing to help each other.
A little over two weeks into the program - almost halfway through - I pivoted the focus of my project. I was working with a similar problem and user, but I would have to do new research and work. Bringing that up to Renee and Lisa was at first nerve racking, but they were both incredibly helpful in guiding me to the right direction and encouraging me to pursue what I was passionate about.
The workshops and guest speakers were made up of a variety of backgrounds and interests that kept us engaged for a multitude of reasons. It would either be teaching us about different aspects of entrepreneurship or sharing stories of how ideas became a reality. Especially significant and thought provoking was the discussion of a failure resume - it was so liberating to inspect both tiny and grand failures to see how much I learned and grew from them. The things I learned from Hatchery are information and lessons that I can easily see applying to my personal and professional lives. Understanding design thinking, especially, was something I had not actively tried out before, but now I can see how helpful it will be in the future. To someone considering participating in Hatchery in the coming summers, I hope background, major, and experiences do not stop anyone from applying. I’d like to encourage people to break out of their comfort zone and really pursue whatever it is that sparks their interest. This year was done remotely, but the Baker Team is so accommodating, so nothing can get in your way other than yourself.