Nohemi: Challenges so Far

Nohemi Soza-Acevedo is a 2020 Tech Fellow interning at Orlando’s StarterStudio.

As my third week of interning for StarterStudio came to an end, I can reflect back and say that I have faced some challenges. One of my favorite sayings that I live by, states the following: “Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.” This saying serves as a constant reminder that once I have accepted the challenge then I will soon succeed and feel the joy from my victory.

Although I may be new to the entrepreneurial aspect of things, I still strive to overcome the ongoing challenges and remain resilient. However, some of the minor problems I have been experiencing this past week is being able to understand specific terminology within the tech industry and being able to socialize/network with individuals. As mentioned in my previous blog post, I’ve been working with my colleague Alexander Blanchette to develop a set of interview questions for entrepreneurs in the seed stage accelerator. The questions where approved by my supervisor Marelena earlier that week and next thing you know, we were ready to start interviewing.

During the first round of interviews, I experienced a common problem of not understanding specific terms or sayings the entrepreneurs used. These words were really almost like a whole other language. Throughout the interviews, I often found myself asking for clarification on things they mentioned or asked them to elaborate for my own understanding. Even though I was confused by the terminology, I realized how important it is to communicate effectively and to conduct my own research of the company in advance. Furthermore, I also realized how important it is to understand how professional communication at work can vary depending on the professional ecosystem you reside in.

Another one of my larger challenges is a lack of opportunities for networking, as my internship is remote due to COVID-19. Usually as a Tech Fellow I would be able to physically be in the incubator. When I think of networking I think of physically speaking to individuals, building professional relationships, sharing opportunities, and so much more. Having to do such things via online can be hard but not impossible. Knowing this, as I conducted my interviews this week I made it my goal to connect via LinkedIn with all the founders interviewed.

During my weekly update meeting with Marelena (Operations and Programs Manager), I am introduced to a wide range of her connections as well. The blog post image above is a screen shot of one of my weekly meetings via Microsoft Teams with my colleagues Alexander Blanchette, Nicole Hall-Elser, Marelena Cruz, and Taylor Gruendel. This an opportunity where all the marketing and programming interns discuss and share their progress with our supervisors, receive feedback on our work, discuss deadlines, and upcoming projects we will be focusing on.

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