60 Second Pitch in 6 Days

Seven weeks, thirty-five days, 280 hours on site, countless sleepless hours off-site, and it all comes down to this.

Six days from today.

Exposé Day.

What does it feel like to have to wrap up seven whirlwind weeks, thirty-two new best friends, hundreds of community connections, and a shiny new skill set into a sixty second pitch to a room full of potential hiring managers?

Overwhelming and anxiety-ridden? Sad and exciting? How about all of the above!

You know, you sit in your new Startup Institute seat those first couple of days and listen to the long sappy tales of camaraderie and greatness from wide-eyed recent alumni and think to yourself, “Wow, I hope this thing can actually live up to all these grandiose expectations.” And then a funny thing happens - it does.

Seven weeks later, you find yourself sitting in a room with thirty-two other people who a few short months ago were complete strangers, but are now some of your closest friends and colleagues.

Somewhere between the last breath of summer and the first winter snowfall, week one’s 24-hour idea hack and week seven’s brutal lab on SQL, something special happened. And it’s not just finally being able to master HTML and CSS.

It is not the new found knowledge and skills that are hard to wrap up into a one-minute pitch - it is everything else. It’s the late-night rallying to get a project done when your entire team is just about at each other’s throats, then crushing the presentation the next day. It is the coffee that someone grabbed for you on the way in because they knew you had a big day ahead of you. It is the weeknights and weekends someone gave up to help you so you did not fall behind; or the swarm of high-fives and hugs when you crushed a big interview.

Startup Institute gets all the credit for creating an environment, curriculum and all-star lineup of instructors to teach us the skills we need to hit the ground running in this crazy, wild ecosystem.

But the thirty-two people I share these seats with every day get all the rest. And six days from today they all get the opportunity to stand up and show the world why.

So, come see us next Tuesday, December 17th. Come share in the awe (I’ll save you a seat) as I watch dozens of my best friends get up there and tell you about themselves and this eight-week adventure from their perspective.

We are incredibly proud of the community we have built here as the inaugural class out of Chicago, and we would all be thrilled to welcome you to the family.

To register for the Chicago’s Student Expose, click here

Kaleigh Simmons is a Technical Marketing student at Startup Institute Chicago. Wish her good luck on Twitter @kaleighsimmons