Thalia Mendoza: First Impressions of StarterStudio

This past spring semester was certainly one for the books. I was challenged, like I had never been challenged before. COVID life definitely presented me and many others with some struggles. These same struggles made it difficult for me to accept the transition from in person to online. However, the most difficult part was adapting from in person learning to online, all while juggling extracurriculars and my personal life. As hectic as the semester was, I defeated every obstacle and every difficult moment that was presented to me this semester and finished the semester strong. To celebrate, I took a vacation to Puerto Rico. I was more relaxed than ever and truly got a chance to not only soak in all the blessings in life, but also to appreciate them.

Once my vacation was over, I was back in Florida and starting my internship at Starter Studio. It is safe to say that my first impression of them, was definitely about their small team. I always enjoyed and appreciated larger teams, that is… until now. It was interesting see how they had such a small team, yet each and every one of these individuals played such a large and pivotal role in the success of the nonprofit they work for, but ultimately in the success of the companies they help out.

My task this semester is to take on an Alumni Research Project. Through this project I will be doing in depth research on the alumni, in hopes of learning more about the work they are doing and to see how far they have grown, since they completed one of the Starter Studio programs. Once this research project is completed, I will help with the annual impact report, which highlights some of the most notable alumni businesses. Anyone who sees the kind of work I am doing, will be quick to label my work as busy work. However, I would not consider it busy work, but more so, impactful work that takes time.

Doing research on 100+ companies takes time and not something you have the opportunity to do at any time. I have come to appreciate the work that I do, even though sometimes it feels never ending. I find joy and most importantly interest, in seeing the growth of these companies, especially those who came to starter studios with simply an idea.

So, if you ask me what I have learned this first week, it is to appreciate and find joy in the smaller things in life, whether that be in our personal life or work. Even though the team at Starter Studio is small, they all do extremely important work for their community. Our work is just as important as any other larger and more recognized nonprofit.

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