Danielle Keusch is a sophomore at Michigan State University, studying Mechanical Engineering. Danielle came on board as an intern for Conquer Accelerator's second cohort at the start of its 2017 season.
As Conquer Accelerator begins wrapping up its second season, we sat down with our intern staff to discuss their experiences. Here's the result of our conversation with Danielle.
So, Danielle, what have you learned coming on board as an intern for Conquer?
As a woman with little experience in the entrepreneurial world, being an intern for the Conquer Accelerator program this summer has taught me far more after a few short weeks than I could’ve learned in a classroom. I’ve been taken on a journey with these companies, working side-by-side with them. I feel extraordinarily lucky to be surrounded by some of the most kind-hearted and intelligent people I’ve ever met—and I’ve grown to be friends with these amazing people, who will remain role models and mentors to me.
Conquer has shown me the daily struggles and barriers that come along with creating a successful business. Although it seems like businesses have immediate, overnight success, the reality is that success doesn’t just happen—it’s most definitely not a straight line.
I have learned that although this program is not for the faint of heart, it does come with immense amounts of daily help, encouragement, compassion, and advice from the likes of Tom Stewart, Conquer’s Program Manager, and Travis Stoliker, Conquer’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence—not to mention the other forty-plus mentors for the program.
Are you interested in starting your own company?
While I may never start a business of my own, I have acquired skills necessary for future employment, or to become a leader within an established business. Skills like communication, advertising/marketing, social media management, pitch deck building, researching and database mining, along with tapping into my creativity.
What has inspired you most about being around these startups?
By being surrounded by startup businesses, I see, now, how failure can be pushed beyond and turned into success. I am excited to see the achievements of each of the teams, after Conquer is finished, whether they happen to turn into enormous, multi-million dollar companies, or become small companies, serving niche markets. I am most excited (and hopeful) to see Prndl signs around parking lots on all campuses; to see LEAP Worldwide change the way the sports world connects; to see AvidCor improve the lives of heart disease and stroke patients; and to see Horizon IQ be the first recommendation system to give unique restaurant choices in all cities.
Because understatement speaks volumes, I would say that this summer has been eventful. It’s also been fun. And this will prove to be one of the most memorable, educational summers I could ask for.
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