Fall 2016 Overview: new programs, new members, and handing down the reigns.

by Alex Garcia (Co-President of Kai)

Fall 2016 was a period of renewal for Kai. We launched new programs, recruited new team members, created essential “apocalypse documents” that preserves our institutional memory, and began handing down the reigns to our younger team members.

The Kai Mentorship program, created by long-time Kai member Cindy Horng, was a new program we launched this semester. The program paired six alumni with six students who applied through a competitive application process for a specific mentor. Wesleyan has often tried to create such a program, but it has been delayed countless years in the endless bureaucracy. As such, we promised to share our findings in this pilot with the school so they could learn from our mistakes and successes. The next round of the mentorship program will be announced this upcoming semester and be headed by new Kai member and mentorship program alumnae Saki Ohashi.

Older programs also continued this semester. The speaker series headed by Kai member Pi Paticha brought in the young and dynamic ad-tech entrepreneur Brian Wong. The event attracted around 35 students to the Olson Commons (formerly 41 Wyllys) to hear Mr. Wong speak. At the end of his funny and honest talk, Brian was also kind enough to hand out some free signed copies of his book, “The Cheat Code: Going Off Script to Get More, Go Faster, and Shortcut Your Way to Success.”

Brian Wong, Founder of Kiip, speaking to students.

Brian Wong, Founder of Kiip, speaking to students.

The tech trip to NYC was continued this year for it’s third iteration and headed by new leaders, Alvin Chitenea and Marc Esposito. Twelve students were selected to go on the trip and meet with alumni founders and professionals at companies such as Givkwik, Peatix, Alley Interactive, and more. During downtime students got to know each other and practice pitching at Madison Square Park. Our next trip will be during Spring Break for the third annual Silicon Valley trip. This trip was one of our first programs and starting next year Kai alumni will be working in San Francisco and able to give office tours to students. Time sure flies!

 

Kai NYC Trip Participants with Wesleyan alumni. Fall Break 2016.

Kai NYC Trip Participants with Wesleyan alumni. Fall Break 2016.

Starting next semester many of the senior Kai team members will be involved in teaching the Kai student forum called Kai Labs. Two years ago Mika Reyes taught her first student forum on Human Centered Design and from that experience she created a new project based class that serves real clients in the Wesleyan University community. Kai Labs is divided into two sections and has already enrolled the maximum of 30 students. The engineering section is headed by Daichi Onda and Tim Kim and the Product Manager section is headed by Alex Garcia, Pi Paticha, and Mika Reyes. The Kai team is really excited to be involved in our third student forum. Kai Labs will be more integrated with the Kai organization compared to the previous two. Last semester Kai member Marc Esposito taught a Community Consulting student forum and two years ago was Mika’s Human Centered Design student forum. Student Forums are full credit classes taught by students that have faculty advisors and count towards graduation both for the instructors and students.

Mika Reyes teaching her Human Centered Design Class in 2015.

Mika Reyes teaching her Human Centered Design Class in 2015.

In the coming months we’re excited to see our new members take on added responsibilities and come up with their own ideas for programs and partnerships. A main task ahead is fundraising for upcoming trips, our website costs, and competitions and hackathons. We now have a full-time social media coordinator, Eunes Harun, so expect more frequent updates this semester! We’re looking forward to continuing our educational programs in entrepreneurship and ensuring a diverse group of students get all the access and resources they need to succeed.

Some members of the Kai team at a team dinner. Missing Alvin, Duong, Vivian, and Marc.

Some members of the Kai team at a team dinner. Missing Alvin, Duong, Vivian, and Marc.

Kai Team Meeting. Missing Prem, Vivian, Duong. 

Kai Team Meeting. Missing Prem, Vivian, Duong. 

Spring 2016 Wrap Up: Liberal Arts in Tech

Spring 2016 Wrap Up: Liberal Arts in Tech

By Mika Reyes (Kai Entrepreneurship Wesleyan Co-President)
I probably sent out 70+ emails total to coordinate the annual Silicon Valley trip we had early this year. Cold emails to our hosts, reminder emails to our participants, follow-up emails to the Kai team. Kai’s Slack channels were buzzing with ideas about how to fundraise for our participants, where we should live for the week, which companies to visit on each day, how to be smart about our funds. We worked tirelessly to make this program succeed for the second time in a row, and I like to think we did just that. 

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Fall 2015 Wrap Up: Our Busiest Semester Yet

Fall 2015 Wrap Up: Our Busiest Semester Yet

 By Alex Garcia (Kai Entrepreneurship Wesleyan co-president)
This Fall was Kai’s most eventful semester yet with an event almost every week that helped us accomplish our mission of entrepreneurship education and exposure for Wesleyan students of all backgrounds. We started off the semester with an all student panel that featured stories of what it’s like to intern in tech and new-media. 

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Kai Tech Trip NYC: On Problem Identification, Pitching, and Media Representation of Women and Minorities in Tech

Kai Tech Trip NYC: On Problem Identification, Pitching, and Media Representation of Women and Minorities in Tech

Today we dove deep into problem identification, personal pitching, and media representations of the tech industry. On the hour subway ride to a Chipotle right across from the NYC Google offices we started our discussion about problems we recognized growing up in each of our hometowns.

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Meet the Students Accepted onto the Kai NYC Fall Break Trip!

Meet the Students Accepted onto the Kai NYC Fall Break Trip!

Every year Kai Entrepreneurship hosts two trips: one to Silicon Valley over Spring Break and one to Silicon Alley (NYC) over Fall Break. The Kai Entrepreneurship trips give an opportunity for Wesleyan Students interested in a career related entrepreneurship or tech to talk to alumni and friends of Wesleyan at their workplaces.

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Wesleyan Argus Covers Greg Horowitt Lecture

Wesleyan Argus Covers Greg Horowitt Lecture

"University students gathered in the Career Center to hear a talk from Greg Horowitt, author and venture capitalist, surrounding the topic of innovative ecosystems and investing on Wednesday night, Oct. 7. This event was sponsored by Kai Entrepreneurship Wesleyan, a student organization working to promote openness, inclusion, and community in tech and social entrepreneurship."

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Women in Finance: 2015 Forté College Fast Track to Finance Conference

Women in Finance: 2015 Forté College Fast Track to Finance Conference

Last May 1, 2015, Kai members travelled to the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston to join the Forte College Fast Track to Finance Conference. In this one-day conference, we explored a variety of financial careers including stock analysis, portfolio management and working with private clients through lectures on finance, stock pitch challenges, portfolio simulations and hearing from women business leaders.

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Kai Takes on NYC Tech Scene Student Reflections [Part 2 of 4]

Kai Takes on NYC Tech Scene Student Reflections [Part 2 of 4]

This is the second batch of the reflections from students that participated in the Kai trip to NYC. Click here for the first batch. For an overview of the trip see the itinerary here, or read the Wesleyan Argus article on the trip here. For those that are interested in more trips like these, check back often! We'll be posting details in July on upcoming trips to NYC, Boston, and Silicon Valley.

 

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