Hi everyone! Welcome back to school and to the first edition of the BASES blog! We are excited to bring you all the latest about BASES and about entrepreneurship in general, so please check back in for more updates. To kick us off, we have a special question and answer session from our presidents Valerie and Udai who wanted to talk about the best parts of their BASES experiences and why they are excited for the new year. Here is a little background information about our two amazing presidents:
1. What are you looking forward to most about this year in BASES?
U: I'm most excited about seeing the new freshmen and welcoming them to the BASES community. The object of all our events is to get people excited about entrepreneurship, and it's great that every year we get to spark an interest in entrepreneurship in a new group of people. As a senior, I'm especially excited about this class of freshmen because it'll be my last time welcoming new people to the organization.
V: I'm very excited to welcome the incoming freshman into BASES this year! Four years ago, I came to Stanford rather unfamiliar with startups and venture capital. BASES gave me an amazing community of upperclassmen and alumni mentors to learn about Silicon Valley startups and develop my pitching skills. Now, I'm excited to get to know the youngest minds at Stanford and give back as mentor during my last year on the farm.
2. What has been your most valuable memory from the club?
U: This club has taught me so many skills - managing a team, giving and taking feedback effectively, organizing complex events, setting a budget. But the most valuable memories I have are the many nights I've spent talking to my fellow officers and VPs, the brunches and lunches and coffees spent discussing the exciting projects my peers are starting, and all the great opportunities BASES gives to meet and learn from the most exciting thinkers in the Valley.
V: I've had so many amazing memories in BASES - ranging from enriching pitch opportunities to traveling with some of my best friends - but a fun one that comes to mind was when I went to Escape the Room with my team (business development) during my sophomore year. Working together while a "zombie" was trying to eat you in an hour was a thrilling experience that revealed a lot about our team dynamic! Another memorable opportunity was heading to Helsinki, Finland last fall for a conference and learning about the European startup scene and, as a special bonus, meeting the crown prince of Denmark!
3. Why should others join BASES this year?
U: This is one of the most valuable experiences Stanford offers. The chance to work on an organization that has been running high quality events independently for the past 20 years. BASES raises its budget, selects programming, recruits officers, and interfaces with a dozen partners in and outside of the university. This is a chance to meet the most exciting people in the Valley while also learning the skills needed to execute and lead effectively.
V: It's hard to condense this since I have so many reasons! On top of meeting some of the brightest, entrepreneurial minds in the valley as well as lifelong friends and mentors, one very unique aspect of our organization that I have yet to see in others on campus is our culture of 360 feedback. I have never received such thorough feedback in any professional or organizational setting. Learning about my contributions to the team on a quantitative and qualitative level through the eyes of my peers and then VP has been instrumental to my personal growth.
4. What has been the most exciting project you have worked on for the club?
U: My most exciting project was definitely organizing our Startup Career Fair last year. This is an event that attracts around a thousand students every year and it was really exciting to lead my team in setting up every aspect of it, from selling tickets to companies to logistics to advertising.
V: When I led the Business Development team last year, honing in on our pitching and outreach strategy was one of the most difficult yet enriching learning experiences I had. As a team, we had to effectively mold the BASES value proposition to fit certain audiences in order to develop strong partnerships with firms in the valley.
5. If you had one piece of advice for a freshman coming into the Activities Fair, what would it be?
U: You're free - savor that. Unlike in high school, there are no arbiters who will judge you in four years for the choices you make. Use that freedom to try something exciting and new in addition to pursuing what you already know you're interested in.
V: Close your eyes and imagine what kind of person you want to become after three years at Stanford. Then, as you meet the leaders of these student organizations, see if the vision of yourself in three years resonates with the leadership of the group.