The Importance of an Entrepreneurial Mindset in Each and Every Industry
By Wallace Gundy
On December 1, I boarded a flight out of Rochester for the Simon School’s annual West Coast Trek. With 30 of my classmates, we planned to see twelve companies, hear keynotes from three alumni, attend two receptions, and meet with one expert recruiter, all orchestrated by the Jay S. and Jeanne Benet Career Management Center. From healthcare to search engines, travel to hardware, software to “uncarriers,” venture capitalists to restaurant owners, we heard and learned from an incredible range of alumni who are working in an even wider range of industries in the heart of Silicon Valley and Seattle.
These ten days on the West Coast opened up this East Coaster’s eyes to the culture, pace, cuisine, energy, and dynamic of what felt like another world. But, it also made clear, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that an entrepreneurial mindset is critical in order to thrive in every single industry, no matter what or where it is, and what your role may be.
It was only a day into the trip when several of us learned that the buzzword of these world-famous companies was “nimble.” Their most successful employees are able to adapt to different situations and circumstances, and the ever-evolving climates of their industries. Being nimble is at the heart of entrepreneurship. I have been fortunate to speak with many entrepreneurs during my time at Simon and prior; one of their first pieces of advice is always that it is critical to be able to adapt. A willingness to roll with the punches, make unexpected changes, thrive in ambiguity, and adjust plans is a key component in starting a successful business.
This nimbleness seems to be part of what makes entrepreneurship and the idea of building and owning something that is yours exhilarating. Each day is a new day, not always knowing what it will bring. This sentiment was exactly echoed on the West Coast. Fierce competition, economic unknowns, and our ever-changing world mean that no company knows exactly what the next day will bring. But, having an entrepreneurial mindset will set you apart from the rest.
I send a sincere thank you to Vicky Kamahele, Varian Medical Systems Inc., HPE (Nimble Storage), Western Digital/SanDisk, Mark Zawacki of 650 Labs, Google, Eric Ball of Impact Venture Capital, Juniper Networks, Intel, Applied Materials, T-Mobile, and Expedia for hosting us and sharing the incredible work you do. Hopefully it won’t be long before you’ll be working alongside more Simon grads!
Wallace Gundy ’20S (MBA) is a first year MBA candidate at the Simon Business School. She is a Forte Fellow and Ain Entrepreneur Scholarship Recipient. Pivoting from 10 years in the non-profit sector, she is pursuing Brand Management and Entrepreneurship. Wallace is involved in the Graduate Business Council and is an avid squash player. She hopes to own her own business one day.