Thalia Mendoza: Understanding the Role of Mentorship

My interest in entrepreneurship, was certainly a relatively new one. It would be hypocritical of me to tell everyone, “I was always interested in entrepreneurship/business”, because that is simply not the case. I always considered myself to be a lifelong learner. I attempted to read about as many topics and issues as I possibly could, so if I was ever having a conversation with someone, I would have the opportunity to add something of value. However, the topic of entrepreneurship was simply never a topic that crossed my mind or that I felt inclined to learn about. At the age of 19, I began to discover the topic of social entrepreneurship and was completely unaware and ultimately in shock, of the fact that entrepreneurship could be combined with social impact work. Much to everyone’s surprise, I became a part of the Tech Fellows 2021 Cohort.

After continuously polishing my resume, preparing for interviews, and doing in depth research on each incubator, I am happy to announce I have accepted an offer to be interning with StarterStudio, a startup accelerator in Orlando, Florida. StarterStudio is a 501C3 that works with partners throughout Central Florida to strengthen the tech startup ecosystem and to elevate the region in the eyes of investors, by educating them about the advantages of investing locally in tech startup companies. Through my role as an intern this summer, I will specifically be working on outreach and engagement. It is safe to say that my previous roles in the past have prepared me to work on various outreach/engagement strategies for different organizations. However, it is also safe to say, this is still something very outside of my comfort zone. I will be learning and taking on more projects that focus on marketing, specifically marketing during COVID, where people are experiencing zoom fatigue and burnout. Through my role, I hope to increase engagement and outreach percentages and truly find ways for the central Florida region to actively engage with this nonprofit, but specifically with the start-up companies as well.

            The experience I will gain throughout the duration of my internship will also help me with ideas and resources for the research I will be conducting this summer. This summer, I will be conducting research on how students interested in social impact work, perceive mentorship. As I mentioned in my previous blog post, mentorship has always been something I have found to be immensely valuable throughout my life. I also have an avid passion for social impact work. These past few months I have taken an interest in learning the complexities of what it means to actually take part in social impact work, so I knew I had to combine the two together. I have always been curious to see whether or not people perceive mentorship in the same way I do. For instance, I view mentorship as something I hope to continue in the long run. I don’t use mentorship to simply obtain a specific position, but rather I try to develop a meaningful relationship that can last for years to come.  The way I have perceived mentorship throughout my life has provided me with the opportunity to soak in the benefits that come with mentorship. I can truthfully say that mentorship has changed my life for the better!

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