NEW YORK, NY- May 14, 2014 – Baruch College student Jolene Gurevich, a Finance and Investments major with a minor in Interdisciplinary Studies of New York City, has earned a Venture for America Fellowship. Jolene, who graduates May 2014, will spend five weeks in an immersive training program at Brown University, where experts from IDEO, McKinsey, Harvard Business School, the Startup Institute, and many other entrepreneurs and venture capitalists will prepare her and other Fellows with the skills and mindset to overcome the challenges they’ll face in helping build a company.
Jolene was born in New York City and currently lives in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, with her parents who came to the United States from the former Soviet Union. As a child Jolene took dance lessons at a local studio, which later became the inspiration for pursuing the opportunity with Venture for America.
“I have had a very strong interest in entrepreneurship ever since seeing the owner of my old dance studio grow his business from one small studio into a national brand so naturally, Venture for America seemed like the perfect opportunity to finally pursue that interest,” she says. “[I think I will benefit greatly from] playing an integral role in growing a business, learning from mistakes made along the way and participating in VFA Training Camp this summer with my cohort of Fellows. I will be better prepared to start my own venture someday, especially after participating in VFA networking events and education modules throughout the next two years.”\
Jolene says her time at Baruch College has provided her with many rewarding experiences. She especially remembers her adventure studying abroad in Beijing and learning Mandarin during the Fall 2011 and Spring 2012 semesters.
“I went to China, barely knowing the language and came back with a conversational proficiency,” she says. “While I was there, I studied Mandarin and Ethnic Anthropology where my professors were anthropologists living and working in China. They took us on a trip to stay in a Tibetan village in the mountains of Qinghai province, on another trip to live in a Miao village in Guizhou province in the south of China and showed me and my six other classmates a side of China that I was extremely grateful to have the chance to see. While I was in China, I also wrote an independent research paper where I did first hand research via interviews that I conducted in Mandarin and English. The experience of conducting some of those interviews in Mandarin was really rewarding because it was proof of how far my language skills had come in one year. The whole experience of living and learning in China really showed me that if you really put your mind to achieving something, there is very little that can stand in your way.”
As a member of the 2014 Class of Fellows, Jolene will be heading to Brown University for a five-week training camp in June and then will move to her assigned city in early August. She will work for a startup for the next two years as part of VFA and at that point she feels she will have a better sense of what her next steps will be.
“As far as long term career plans go, I know that I want to have an integral part in growing a company, whether it is my own or someone else’s,” she says. “People spend such a large percentage of their waking lives at work, so I know that whatever it is that I end up doing, I plan to be challenged by it and enjoy it.”
About Venture for America:
Venture for America, a 501c3 non-profit, is a career accelerator for recent grads who want to learn how to build a business while making an impact. VFA Fellows are matched with startups in one of a dozen revitalizing cities across the country, including Detroit, New Orleans, Baltimore, and others. They live and work there for two years, learning hands-on what it takes to build a company, while getting additional training, mentorship, network, and ongoing support to prepare themselves to become successful entrepreneurs. For more information, visit ventureforamerica.org.
About Baruch College:
Baruch College is a senior college in the City University of New York (CUNY) with a total enrollment of more than 17,000 students, who represent 160 countries and speak more than 100 languages. Ranked among the top 15% of U.S. colleges and the No. 5 public regional university, Baruch College is regularly recognized as among the most ethnically diverse colleges in the country. As a public institution with a tradition of academic excellence, Baruch College offers accessibility and opportunity for students from every corner of New York City and from around the world. For more about Baruch College, go to http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/.
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