Summer Centered: Claire Blood-Cheney '20 Thinks Creatively About Business
The classics major is spending the summer at Stanford to assist emerging startups at StartX.
This summer, Claire Blood-Cheney ’20 is discovering that there’s no one way to get a new business off the ground. Supported by Center for Career and Professional Advising's Smart Family Fund, the rising senior is interning at StartX, a Stanford University-affiliated nonprofit that pools resources and funding from its community of businesses to support emergent startups. (Unlike more typical startup accelerators, doesn’t make money off its startups and their founders.)
“My duties include taking photos for marketing purposes, working on communication initiatives, such as revamping the website, brainstorming rebranding ideas, helping with events, and communication with founders,” she said.
To tackle this wide scope of assignments, Blood-Cheney has relied on the backbone of her education and prior occupational experience. The classics major, who minors in psychology and international studies, has spent time on campus working as a photographer for the Communications Office. While her studies don’t map as directly onto her current internship, the varying methods of critical thinking that her coursework has developed are exactly what an entrepreneurial mind needs.
“Knowing how to write clearly, think critically and creatively, as well as time management are all skills I exercise at Haverford and have been useful so far in my internship,” Blood-Cheney said. “I definitely credit my classics courses for helping me write well and think critically, my psychology courses for helping me understand communication and marketing strategies, and my international studies courses for encouraging me to be open minded and value cross-cultural connections.”
With this skill set and her keen eye for photography, Blood-Cheney has found that she can approach any situation, even if she isn’t directly educated in it. All it takes is the same self-reliant and problem-solving attitude held by the entrepreneurs that StartX sponsors.
“I thought this opportunity would be a good fit because I have communications experience, so I am comfortable doing the work, but I will also learn a lot because I don't have that much knowledge about business, entrepreneurship, and technological affairs,” she said. “This internship will expose me to those areas I want to learn about.”
It's the promise of learning that makes an internship at StartX so appealing to Blood-Cheney. Though she isn’t sure where her eclectic range of experience will take her in the future, her prior undertakings have demonstrated that she’ll be more than prepared for whatever comes.
“I have a history of working with nonprofits which I have really enjoyed and hope to continue,” she said. “I have learned a lot from this internship already so I hope that whatever I do in the future challenges me to learn new things and allows me to be creative!”
“Summer Centered” is a series exploring our students’ Center-funded summer work.