Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Lessons from the Startup World

This blog was written by Peer Career Ambassador, Natalia Castellanos ’21.

After immersing myself in the startup world during this past summer, I realized that I gained lots of knowledge and skills through experiential learning. The startup world is challenging and invigorating because it requires constant problem-solving. What makes it so is the fact that it is a fully hands-on experience in which there is flexibility for you to be a part of different aspects of a business, and become involved with generating impact and value for the business. It allows creative and explorative individuals to work hard in an environment where everything is constantly changing, and it requires you to develop analytical and problem-solving skills. 

I had the opportunity to see the journey of Yad, a for-profit social enterprise that manufactures home décor, as it became an established business in the United States. I was able to support Yad as it grew with the help of the Babson Summer Venture Program and MassChallenge. It was an experience of continuous learning and growth. Startups have shown me that success is a collaborative effort, which requires entrepreneurs to knock on multiple doors and be resilient. Startup environments highlight the importance of sharing ideas, brainstorming, and team effort. All of these are part of the equation that results in success

One of the greatest aspects of the startup world is the network. You get to connect with creative and motivated people working on their ventures, as well as access to experienced professionals that are willing to share about their decisions and mistakes for you to grow. I learned that for an idea to become a reality, it’s important to talk about it with others and receive feedback. Additionally, through accelerators, you get access to mentors. Mentorship is of great value for entrepreneurs because other people’s perspectives serve as guidance and help you weigh the pros and cons of any decision that the startup must make. Really, collaboration is key!

If you are someone who enjoys involvement and wants to make an impact, then I encourage you to look for opportunities in the startup world! The startup environment is full of entrepreneurs coming up with solutions every day, and the biggest requirements are to know how to think on your feet and be willing to continuously learn.