Our College Scholars experienced a full day of networking and career development advice as entrepreneurs explained what it means to be a boss and chart their own path. This is one of the many ways in which we here at East Harlem Tutorial Program (EHTP) invest in our students as they prepare for their futures.
Scholars heard from industry leaders Amanda Eilian, Co-Founder of Videolicious & Partner at _able; Nicole Gibbons, Founder & CEO of Clare; and Flori Marquez, Co-Founder of BlockFi. Each gave her own unique perspective and personal anecdotes on what becoming an entrepreneur means — including the processes of becoming your own boss. They also addressed the importance of internships in gaining real world experience, taking risks, following one’s passion and being able to handle rejection.
“I’ve been rejected a lot, and each time I’ve been rejected, I remember it…and it drives me to work harder…10 years from now I’m going to be able to say in an interview, that company didn’t give me the opportunity that I deserved, and instead I did something 10 times better,” shared Marquez. “Being able to drop other people’s biases…knowing that you’re intelligent, knowing you deserve to be there, and allowing that to continue to drive you forward is very powerful,” she continued.
A Q&A with audience members followed the panel discussion, involving CEOs and entrepreneurs from various arenas including politics, community affairs, marketing, finance, and more. We also opened up the floor to our Scholars and gave them the opportunity to ask questions and have one-on-one conversations.
The panelists shed light on the difficulties of proving oneself as a woman, especially as a woman of color. They emphasized confidence, creating a stable foundation, and knowing the business inside and out when attempting to own a room and get people to believe in their work.
Students continued their day in a variety of different workshops where they tackled social justice issues and networking best practices. Sade Lythcott, CEO of The National Black Theatre, brought all of the topics together in her keynote where she addressed social justice, health and wellness, and the unique path that got her where she is today.