Anchalee Pagsanjan studies Communications and Entrepreneurship at Rutgers University. She plans to make a significant impact in the lives of young women.
I’ve always known I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I wanted to be the boss. I was never made to be a follower.
As a freshman in college, I got an executive board position in my club and an internship. Leaving freshman year with all that experience and two internships lined up for me, I was feeling pretty accomplished. But I still felt like there more could’ve been done.
I searched endlessly for programs and opportunities that exclusively helped young women become entrepreneurs. Everything I found were for girls interested in STEM.
They didn’t want girls like me. Instead, they wanted programmers and coders.
The business programs that I did find were offered to both boys and girls, unlike certain STEM programs that were developed specifically to advance girls. I couldn’t find any mentorship program that catered to girls like me. They didn’t want young women entrepreneurs and leaders.
I was starting to feel hopeless and a bit jealous. It’s hard to see all these awesome opportunities open up for girls my age because they participated in a program that fostered their interests and abilities. I started to question the importance of entrepreneurs. Do people not want women leaders and trailblazers? I had to assume it as true. All these programs and none of them helped girls become entrepreneurs.
There was nothing out there to reassure young women that they can be powerful, strong, and assertive. Nothing promoted young women to embrace their leadership skills and pursue entrepreneurship. No program I found mentored young women and showed them the in’s and out’s.
It was hard for me to accept the fact that I had the short end of the stick. I know entrepreneurs are important. They make the future. I also know women are brilliant. In my opinion, we are better leaders than men. So why aren’t girls given the chance to foster the leaders within them?
I decided to take initiative – exactly what a good entrepreneur would do. I contacted the CEO of my internship and told her about this big problem and my solution to fix it. She decided that my idea for a mentorship program designed for young women interested in entrepreneurship and executive leadership was excellent. With her help, I am creating a program for girls just like me.
Soon, there will be no more girls searching endlessly only to realize that there’s no program built to help them succeed. No girl will feel jealous or insignificant because she doesn’t get amazing opportunities even though she is equally important. Young women entrepreneurs deserve these types of opportunities and experiences. Young women entrepreneurs should be supported, encouraged, and guided to success.
Take your frustrations and shortcomings and make them into something innovate and visionary. Create something that can help others who are going through what you have gone through. Don’t let the world stop you. Become an entrepreneur.