First Night Success

By Anna Giordano

The first night of the Lean Startup conference began with Ignite Talks. This consisted of 14 talks done in under 90 minutes. (Insane.)

One of my favorite speakers of the night, who I got the pleasure to hang out and converse with before she went on stage, was Charu Manchanda Nair @livefluidly.  Her whole speech was about diversity which is what WMU is all about. She exemplifies what it means to be diverse. She is interested in people’s stories and what experiences they have had to shape who they are today. So far, she is loving our group from Western Michigan University. With us, we brought eight very unique women. She acknowledged our group and recognized the diversity we brought with us to the conference.

Her personality and attitude stuck out to me when she was speaking at the Ignite Talks. She believes in everything she was saying, which keeps me personally focused. Some of the key points that I got out of her speech were “have an open mind,” “ own what you know,” “experience you,” “see the differences,” and “ no limits.” During her speech she encouraged us to own what we know, which means have faith in our ideas, be proud of who you are!  She asked me before she went on stage to let her know what word stuck out to me after she was done talking, the word that stuck out to me the most from her speech was “experiences.” Experiences are endless, there are so many opportunities in our life that we need to take full advantage of. Live in the moment and experience as much as you can. After she was done speaking I got the opportunity to talk to with her one on one and her excitement was through the roof. She was so pleased to have a young woman interested in talking with her. She looked at me and said: “experience you” and I will never forget that.

It would be amazing to see WMU bring a diverse team with them to the Lean Startup Conference every year. Allowing students to come and make genuine connections with the speakers is a huge opportunity to experience different cultures and learn more about how important diversity is.

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