Supporting global innovation
Rosie Pofcher ’19 matches startups, mentors in MassChallenge internship
Hometown: Brattleboro, Vt.
Major: Business and management
Winternship: MassChallenge Global Partnerships (Boston)
Funding source: Blakely Fetridge Bundy ’66 Work and Learning Fund
Making matches: “MassChallenge Global Partnerships have a particular program called Bridge to MassChallenge that works with local governments to develop and implement innovative new approaches that will transform innovation economies, streamline corporate innovation practices and help the overall startup ecosystem evolve. Currently the Bridge program is working to develop the innovation ecosystem in Thailand. Part of the program is a virtual mentorship, matching mentors from the global MassChallenge community to startups in Thailand. As an intern, I helped source mentors, reached out to them, and, once the mentors had agreed, introduced startups and mentors and was the point of contact for all follow-up.”
Inspiring environment: “The teams at MassChallenge are small, but the workload is huge and the work is implemented at a fast pace. The dedication from the employees was truly motivating, and seeing how passionate they are about their work made it clear the work they do at MassChallenge is truly impacting startups. I’ve started to build a network of people who could help me down the road and were always up to giving me advice on my future career goals.”
Adapting to independence: “There were times when I was given an overall task to complete and told to ‘run with it.’ Being a student, we are often given lots of instruction and, at first, I wasn’t sure how to operate under this. But I slowly learned that my managers wanted to see how I adapted to work and what my ideas were. Of course, they were there to double check progress and make corrections that were vital to my understanding about how my work could improve. Overall, I learned a valuable lesson that in my future career I will be working independent of strict directions. This is one of the best aspects of interning at MassChallenge, and it was a great experience.”
Value in group projects: “I quickly learned that team collaborations are an everyday aspect of the work at MassChallenge, so every class where I had a team project became important, as I understood more the importance of collaboration. One class that helped me to understand the global aspect of the work I did was ‘Globalization and Development’ with Professor Brenda Wyss. When I was first getting started in my internship, it was very helpful to understand more background of the problems facing developing countries that the Bridge program is working to solve.”
Support system: “I want to stay in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship. The industry is growing rapidly and is having a greater impact globally, as more countries are putting more resources to innovation and support for entrepreneurship. Although I do not believe I will be an entrepreneur myself, there is a lot of work to be done in order to support innovation.”
Innovation network: “MassChallenge is the world’s most startup-friendly accelerator, working globally to spark and support innovation; therefore, working there gave me a direct view to the work I hope to be doing in my career. Not only did I learn about how these organizations operate, but I built up a network of connections working in innovation, which is incredibly valuable for any upcoming graduate.”
Rosie is co-president of Hillel and a captain and former treasurer of the women’s rugby team. She has been a resident advisor for three years. She previously worked as an events intern with MassChallenge HealthTech, during summer 2018, and joined the MassChallenge Global Partnerships team as an intern this past fall, extending through winter break.