Week 6 Reflections at SINY

by Henry Cameron Chang, Technical Marketing Track

In the 6 weeks I’ve been at Startup Institute NY, I’ve grown as an entrepreneur, and as an individual. Here are some takeaways of the program so far, what I’ve learned, and how I’ve transformed.

Instructors Are Your Allies:

• The amazing instructors who come in are the people who are going to teach you where to find food and water in an otherwise harsh environment, but more importantly, where to find it in the least expected places. They are your first line of defense, and as you ally yourself with them, they will continue to give you information on what you need to stay alive. Follow them on Twitter, email them, connect with them on LinkedIn, do whatever it takes to pick their brain. They are as passionate as you are about what you’re doing, and they’re extremely valuable in helping you to navigate your path.

Growing Pains: 

• Being at Startup Institute means you are not satisfied with the way your life is, and you want to make it better. Don’t get me wrong, wanting to pursue your passions and be part of something great is a huge part of it, but it’s not the whole picture. I’m here because I’m committed to changing what and who I am professionally, and as that happens, a lot of what and who I am personally will change as well. But it’s important that you have to want to change and grow. Growing, as it turns out, is extremely difficult. But it’s an on-going process that will lead to redefining who you are, and make you a better person.

There’s Only One You:

• When you’re not juggling In-Track labs, creating, tweaking, and re-tweaking your personal website and resume, attending networking events, collaborating with your Startup Institute peers, checking in with staff on a weekly basis, and dealing with personal matters outside of class, you get a small window of time all to yourself when you can reflect and do some critical thinking about what all this hard work and effort is for: YOU. My many conversations with Kailey Raymond, Program Manager of SINY, and Shaun Johnson, Co-Founder of Startup Institute, have helped me to realize one crucial but often overlooked thing about myself, and it’s something so obvious that sometimes I forget, because it’s easy to forget. There’s only one of me, and therefore I am unique and I can do things that only I can do. With that in mind, I am more thoughtful and proactive about what I can do to advance my career, and what I can do to bring value to a startup that I want to join.