Even before they’ve earned their degrees, Kritesh Parekh ‘17 and Emily Lindsley ’18 are delving into the world of startups and getting an up close look at what it takes to establish and grow a business.
The two Barney School of Business students are interning at the University’s Entrepreneurial Center, (EC) a one-stop destination for individuals in the Greater Hartford community who are looking to take their business dreams from idea to reality.
Kritesh, of Mumbai, India, is an Insurance and finance major and is putting his skills to work for entrepreneurs. “As a financial program management assistant for EC’s Women’s Business Center, I’m assisting with risk and return analysis and preparing financial and statistical proposals for our clients to help keep their balance sheets healthy,” he explains. “I get to focus on the financials, but I’m also learning about the importance of business planning and data management.”
As a marketing major, Emily, of Bristol Conn., calls her marketing assistant internship a “natural fit” since she’s interested in starting or working for a company that supports a great cause. “The impact the Center has on the greater Hartford community has reminded me of how excited I am when I know that what I’m doing has an impact.” She is involved in many aspects of the Center’s day-to-day activities, including digital and social media client communication. “Experiencing the startup lifecycle of a business has helped me understand how much work goes into launching a business,” she says. “But I also see how our business advisors mentor clients and provide support and that takes some of the fear away.”
Entrepreneurial Center and Women’s Business Center Director Fred Wergeles sees tremendous interest and activity in innovation and entrepreneurship in Connecticut and knows this exposure is exactly what students need in today’s job market. “Watching a startup in action is an excellent way to educate students,” he says. “Whether they are entrepreneurial studies majors, business founders, or intend to work in a new company, it’s important for them to know what the challenges and rewards are and how resources are acquired and managed. We’re pleased to be a conduit for that real-world experience.”
When he graduates this spring, Kritesh hopes to put his internship experience to work in the real world. With a side interest in human resources, he’s looking forward to the Center’s CT Business Matchmaker, one of the largest events in the state that pairs small business owners with established businesses. “I want to gain exposure to job possibilities and learn how companies empower and retain their employees.”