Opportunistic Thinking and Inexperience: A Match Made in Heaven

By: Joe Porter

I have been interning at companies around Kansas City for the past five weeks, and the more I learn about business the more I realize that I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m a teenager trying to grasp four years of college education and ten years of business experience in a two month span, which sounds even more impossible when I type it on paper. I’ve dealt with this challenge by being open to trying anything within reason. I pursue every opportunity I can because the only way for me to find out how useful it will be is to reflect on it after the fact.

That logic has guided me through my high school career, and it has led me to some incredible opportunities and connections. I co-founded a slam poetry club at my school and became their first ambassador to the KC Mental Health Coalition because I kept my eyes open for opportunities to spend my days trying new things. Similarly, last week YEP KC and the KC Startup Foundation hosted an Entrepreneurial Bootcamp day. It was an event where students gained exposure to Kansas City’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem and learned from a handful of local entrepreneurs. I attended this event along with a crop of other motivated students. A common idea expressed by the entrepreneurs was that their opportunities came in all sorts of forms. From a paralyzing injury to quitting a dream job, these entrepreneurs took whatever life threw at them and turned it into a lifestyle.

My biggest takeaway from the Entrepreneurial Bootcamp and my time in YEP KC as a whole is that nothing happens at a “convenient” time. Always be prepared for an opportunity to present itself, and don’t be afraid of chasing an opportunity.