They say that luck is where opportunity meets preparation. Easier said than done. In my 22 years of life, I have prepared myself to be ready when the right opportunity was presented to me even when sometimes I did not even know what the opportunity that I was looking for was.
When I was still a freshman in college, I decided I wanted to make the most out of my college experience. I had thought of a million of possibilities for my future – yes, I tend to escalate things, but it never occurred to me to create my own business. The participation in various case study competitions within my university gave me the opportunity to explore my entrepreneurial, management, and financial skills. From creating a startup company in 72 hours in the Weekend Startup, to serving as a mentor for high school students in the Rookie Entrepreneur Program, I kept myself occupied outside the classrooms and my office. Experiences like these gave me the opportunity to work with diverse students. While we were attempting to create the next technological innovation, other doors started knocking in the entrepreneurial field. That’s when I was nominated to become part of the WBENC Student Entrepreneur Program in 2015.
Although the program consisted of seven days of onsite tours, seminars, networking events, and a conference; my WBENC experience has gone way beyond that. In SEP I had the opportunity to meet extraordinary young women like myself, those of which I have continued to maintain a relationship with and that I have seen grow into the great entrepreneurs that they are today. These women have not only inspired me to continue with my dream of owning my own business, but have also advised me on what is the right path for me to take. My WBENC mentor, Brenda Loube, owner of Corporate Fitness Works, has been a huge inspiration and support throughout my journey. During these two years, I have continued to be engaged with the WBENC network via social media, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
After SEP, I also participated in an Elevate Diversity Forum, a Career Program, and had an internship with Goldman Sachs. Today, my plan is to graduate in May, start my journey at one of the world’s most prestigious multinational banking firms, to continue utilizing the WBENC network, and one day, to become the woman owner of my own business.
I am very optimistic about what the future looks for me and those around me. Every day is a learning curve and I try to see the best of everything so one day, I will find the right idea for my business!
Brenda Simental currently attends The University of Texas at El Paso where she majors in Finance. Outside of class, she is the President of the Financial Management Association UTEP Chapter, a Professional Development Assistant for the College of Business Administration’s Undergraduate programs, and a mentor through the Leaders of Corporate America program, designated to prepare students to land prestigious internships.