On Adapting to New Environments & the Entrepreneurial Spirit

By: Catherine Franano

As my fourth and final week of interning at biometrics company Zoloz comes to an end, I am both sad to leave and excited to start at a new company. In four weeks, I learned every detail of the work that Zoloz does and completed increasingly complex tasks for the company. I feel integrated into Zoloz and have developed a daily routine which includes making a morning coffee and chatting with the engineering team, sitting at my desk in the Research and Development corner, meeting with my supervisor to outline my tasks for the day, and getting updates from the other interns about their projects, etc. However, entrepreneurship is not about developing a routine. Entrepreneurs must be ready to respond and adapt to any challenge that the day brings them. While I am comfortable at Zoloz because I have figured out the inner working at the company, I know the challenge of starting fresh at a new company, while daunting, is going to be a great experience and a test of entrepreneurial spirit.

At Zoloz, every day presents new challenges which a skilled team of engineers, researchers, and lawyers respond to efficiently and creatively. Not a day goes by at Zoloz where I do not witness employees from different departments working together to draw out a problem on the whiteboard and brainstorm solutions or teaching each other new skills in order to improve their knowledge of the industry. Employees at Zoloz are constantly facing challenges that the fast-paced tech environment throws at them and adapting in order to solve them. It is this mentality of collaboration and constant learning that drew me to entrepreneurship and experiencing these qualities at Zoloz is one of my favorite parts of my YEP KC experience. Although Zoloz is now a branch of Ant Financial, and technically not a startup anymore, the entrepreneurial spirit clearly flourishes in their office in the crossroads.

As I move to a new company, I will carry what I learned at Zoloz about adapting to new environments and learning on the job. It is challenging for a high school student to parachute into a rapidly growing technology company for a month and make an impact. That being said, I have taken an oar where I could and tried to push the boat forward just a little bit faster. I appreciate the opportunity that YEP KC has given me and my fellow interns to gain experience working in an entrepreneurial company and seeing how entrepreneurial leaders work. I encourage the other YEP KC interns and anyone who reads this to face new environments and situations with an open mind and a desire to learn everything they can. In entrepreneurship and startup environments, new challenges are always thrown at you but it is how you handle them that determines success. I am confident that the YEP interns will leave a great impact on their first company, and will adapt well to their new workplaces, bringing a fresh perspective and a desire to learn.