Becoming a Willer of WILLA
Going into the second semester of my third year at NYU, the moment I had been waiting for since my freshman year finally arrived, it was time to find an internship.
When starting my application process I was met with many questions that I had too many answers too. “What would you like to do?” I was asked. To this, I had no real answer. I had worked in many different sectors, none of which really fit my personality. So, although I had worked so much, all I had to show for it was a list of things I did not like to do. So I proposed new sectors I had never gotten a chance to explore deeply: management, communication, or the startup world.
Thus, leading me to WILLA. Upon reading the job description I knew there was no other company I would want to work at. It was everything I had asked for wrapped up in a package, with an added bonus of female empowerment. All I needed to do was make the dream a reality by acing the interview. Thankfully the two people who interviewed me, Estelle and Marie-Aline, seemed to have liked me as much as I, them, for my dream internship came to be a reality.
One of the main things I loved about working at WILLA is the constant exposure I had to french. I can happily say my comprehension of the French language has greatly improved in ways they would not have had I not had the opportunity to not only live and learn but also work in Paris. The entire incubator was always patient and gracious with helping me when I would struggle to form complex sentences or find proper words. I never felt dumb for making a mistake. I soon found myself capable of having conversations without thinking as hard as I once did.
I have done many things at WILLA. From working on the website translation to participating in events, brainstorming with the team, conversing with the startups, working on the Instagram etc. One of the major projects I assisted with is the planning of the Inclusive Tech Summit coming up in November. Though I will likely be unable to attend I am proud to have played a part in bringing it to life. Every day is exciting and different. It has been an honor to be able to learn about countless innovative startups and meet hard-working founders and teams, such as IKKOE, Soukeat, Iwheelshare, Formelab, Kokoroe, and Bankizy, just to name a few.
The beauty of working in an incubator is seeing how hard everyone is working around you all the time. It was this constant visual reminder that success does not come without dedication that made me move closer to what I feel I could see myself doing for the rest of my life. Since working at WILLA I have found myself evolving more creatively as well as improving my work ethic so it goes beyond my professional and academic life, and into my personal life goals. There have been many things I have always said I would do that I am now finally actually doing. I know it was the WILLA atmosphere I surrounded myself with 20 hours a week that has brought out the life motivated, career driven, independent side of me.
My 8 weeks at WILLA have been very useful to me in ways I could not have anticipated. I have met so many great people and participated in so many events and talks that inspired me. There is no other incubator that I would have liked to begin my journey of life discovery. With a team as welcoming and helpful as that of WILLA, I was destined to have such an informative and immersive 8 weeks. The “can-do” atmosphere I feel when I am at WILLA is something I plan to remind myself of for the rest of my life. My time at WILLA has made my coming to Paris feel all the more worth my while.