I had the pleasure of attending the 10th annual Barrington Uncharted Learning, NFP | INCubatoredu pitch night earlier this year and found myself filled with nostalgia, gratitude, and amazement as I reflected on my journey to that stage ten years ago.
The lean start-up methodology is the foundation of the INCubatoredu entrepreneur curriculum which encourages experimentation, iteration, and continuous learning. There are countless examples of how this method drastically improves business outcomes for entrepreneurs, but as someone who forged a career path within the marketing/design agency industry, I wanted to highlight how this methodology has taught me durable skills that transcend the start-up world and have been the foundation for my success as a young professional.
My journey as a high School Entrepreneur...
1. Made me a strong and confident communicator
Developing a comprehensive go-to-market strategy, including brand positioning and target consumer profiles, taught me how to clearly and confidently articulate value. As a team lead within a fast-paced creative agency, this ability to see the forest through the trees and clearly articulate the job to be done for my clients has been critical to delivering effective work that is on time and within budget.
2. Helped me identify when it's time to pivot
The constant consumer research and feedback implementation we did to evolve our INCubatoredu business has made me comfortable with change, and value the art of the pivot. This has given me the keen ability to keep our clients’ business challenges as my true north when evaluating creative solutions, avoiding conceptual and design fixation.
3. Taught me how to tackle large projects
...by using a SCRUM-like management model that leverages value-based prioritization and collaboration. This early exposure to real-world project management tools has given me a leg up when juggling cross-functional teams, complex creative projects, and ever-shifting deadlines.
Entrepreneurship—A Valuable Kick Start
The resilience I built as an INCubatoredu entrepreneur has been invaluable as I navigate my career journey. I can proudly say I am full of optimism and embrace a growth mindset about the road ahead.
This course is one that I'll advocate for until the dawn of time, and I recommend every student take it regardless of interest or plans after high school. The durable skills I gained set me apart, empower me to excel in any role I take on, and are foundational for success.
This blog post was adapted from Emily's LinkedIn post, June 2023. She was a student in the inaugural high school entrepreneurship class, INCubatoredu, at Barrington High School, and is now an INCubatoredu Alum Ambassador.
More from INCubatoredu alumni:
My Journey as a High School Entrepreneur, by Daniel Gomez
My Experience as a High School Entrepreneur, by Ayden Fowler