Throughout high school and college, I had formed a strong collective with my fellow band mates – a third language we developed throughout the course of over six years. As I also continued building on these passions and technical capacities in my free time, I craved a more structured academic backdrop.
My bilingual household had conditioned me to find cultural relativity in all things, which eventually led to an opportunity to study International Relations.
These learning experiences introduced tangible outlets to apply the concepts of supply chain economics to direct business dealings while working within the music industry to facilitate a multi-stakeholder machine of sorts.
After graduating, the band was still on a great track and, regardless of one’s taste in music, thought we were creating some good sounds together! That was when the “real world” finally came knocking at the door. What had been the professional “backup” – college – led to a self-fulfilling prophecy, a necessity for financial sustainability.
It was at this point second nature for me to see how the sum of many individual and unique parts can come together to form a working system or unit. How each piece comes apart, and that under the right circumstances, can come back together, stronger and more intimately connected.
I learned that above all else, for any group or entity, trusting relationships lie at the heart of shared success, cohesion, mutual growth and sustainability.
I spent the next few years working in highly corporate environments in the financial and telecom sectors. On either side of these strict procedural and process-oriented constructs were stints with small non-profit startups, and later a three-year long investment into my professional development at the forefront of a rapidly scaling DC-based not-for-profit association. These various nuances built across diverse workplace cultures, structures, sectors, and environments, shaped my understanding of employee/employer dynamics and how value was measured and exchanged.
This is where I am today
The technical knowledge I had acquired from those earlier years and this world of art have since played a significant role in my life. And now, whether it’s audio, web, graphic design, marketing, or business relations – I connect dots, building from those lessons of the past. Today, I find opportunities for collaboration, and ways to grow and innovate for the sake of bringing the talents and strengths of others into the process. Seeing and seeking parallels between the socioeconomic, biological, neural, digital, and community structures – both on the international stage and hyper-locally – continue to guide me forward.
All of this was particularly relevant in the context of the digital era we were beginning to embrace.
In the startup business world, the Silicon Valley model was and still is especially attractive and pivotal for rapid scaling of technologies and platforms that have become ubiquitous in our mainstream digital experience and global economy. Most start-ups will tell you that selling ownership (equity) in exchange for startup or operating capital is a best-case scenario. Why? Because it is a much easier sell than finding qualified and trusted internal capacity to invest in a group of individuals who hold a shared stake in the outcome of its purpose.