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The Power of Mentorship

Learning from others’ experiences is one of the highlights of my entrepreneurial journey at the 5c’s so far. Besides upperclassmen mentors and faculty conversations, at the center of this learning community is the Hive: the Claremont Consortium’s hub for Design Thinking and Creativity.

The Hive frequently hosts events that feature panelists with careers related to entrepreneurship, tech, and design.

Here are three of my main takeaways from these panels:

Story Telling matters!

Telling a compelling story helps your target audience to understand how the product fits into their life. Be obsessed with the problem, not the solution! At the end of the day, design is a service, so being mindful of one’s audience and putting them first is pivotal.

Start Somewhere!

When I asked the panel about what they learned from setbacks and challenges they faced in their career, one of them responded with, “ "I'd rather live a life of oh wells than what-ifs.” The takeaway is: put yourself out there and explore! Even when the outcome is not what you were looking for, you’ve gained valuable experience.

Mindset is Key!

One of the main focus points that I learned about was “navigating ambiguity”.

Knowing how to take action even when you lack all of the answers is a central part of the startup and design-thinking process.

Having the opportunity to learn from the experiences of these inspiring individuals has reframed my perspective on the problem-solving and creativity that is essential to the entrepreneurial process.

Another venue for entrepreneurial mentorship is SageTank: a business pitch competition for 5C students and alumni! Pomona Ventures will be hosting this event on April 30th. Applications are now live! Competing teams gain access to professional mentors to take their businesses to the next level.

Serena Lin (she/her) is a Pomona College first-year from Glendora, California. She's planning to double major in Neuroscience and Economics and also enjoys baking, playing the clarinet, writing poetry, and volunteering with the elderly in her free time.

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