Amie Rodriguez '14 and her Focus on Technology & Social Innovation
What does your position at Singularity University entail?
I act as the lead curator for an exponential tech Accelerator Program on the NASA base in California for Singularity University’s Startup Lab. On a daily basis I speak with investors, X-tech startups (artificial intelligence, robotics, biometrics, etc), subject matter experts, consultants and other lead accelerator programming managers to try and gain insights into designing a 10-week process that will take X-tech startups solving for the global grand challenges to the next stage of funding, research and development, and founder leadership development. I also have daily nerf-gun wars and prank breaks with my awesome co-workers and empowering boss!
You credit your Study Abroad and internship experiences as the key to having been able to explore your interest in combining business, technology, and social issues during your time at Hamilton. Can you elaborate on that?
I studied abroad in Australia which exposed me to different views of business and its capacity to address social issues. I also interned at the U.S. State Department and recognized my need to search for a field that is more on the forefront of human development. When I returned for my senior year I wrote about Social Innovation and Sustainable Development for my World Politics major, which gave me a solid background in international patterns and introduced me to Silicon Valley. In many ways my thesis informed my post-graduate move to Stanford University and ultimately to “Silicon Valley” — the cradle of the nation’s innovations. In addition to the thesis, I participated in Levitt’s Leadership Institute program my final semester, which called for a service project. The type of service project I decided to create caused me to petition for an independent course with Professor Susan Mason. The one-on-one attention and the fact that she helped me scaffold a non-profit program for inner city students proved very valuable when I entered the job market. This combined with my enrollment into Stanford University post-graduation demonstrated that I wanted to keep learning and that I can build a program from the ground up.
Hamilton has a long history of connecting students with alumni and parents whose advice, expertise, and resources help talented young people achieve success for themselves and in their communities.
How was the job search for you?
I wasn’t the type to apply to all job opportunities because it was VERY important for me to find something fulfilling and stimulating. I must have applied to 20 job postings tops. The struggle was resisting the common advice of casting a wide net, which meant spending time and effort on way too many resumes and cover letters for jobs I knew were not for me. I wasn’t willing to compromise purpose and passion for a sense of security — so I rationalized that it wasn’t a matter of if I’ll land the right job, but of when. Patience is a virtue that comes in limited stock. The other struggle was tempering the impatience of wanting to secure something sooner rather than later — thankfully, my Hamilton roommate had family I stayed with for 2 months while I did some soul-searching.