Personally Speaking: Emily Sinensky ’21Emily Sinesky '21 is a business administration major and innovation & entrepreneurship minor from New York City.
Thursday, November 14, 2019 01:44 PM
Photos by Ryan Hulvat
Personally Speaking is a feature of Muhlenberg Magazine where our writers interview students and alumni about their own personal story. This article was originally published in the Fall 2019 issue of Muhlenberg Magazine.
She came to Muhlenberg after spending a gap year in Israel.
“A gap year after high school provided an opportunity to expand my comfort zone, to meet new people and to gain more independence. Opting to go to Israel and being surrounded by their advanced technology and innovation was fortuitous in broadening the scope of my career ambitions.”
She founded the entrepreneurship club Be Your Own Boss (B.Y.O.B.) as a first-year student.
“At the Fall Activities Fair in 2018, I was looking for an entrepreneurial-focused club, but I realized there weren’t any being offered. Later that semester, I attended an event where first-year students and sophomores were invited to meet with students who were business majors and the faculty who teach in the department. That is where I met [Director of Innovation & Entrepreneurship] Rita Chesterton. I asked her if she would help me initiate an entrepreneurship club, and she happily agreed to be the faculty advisor. We worked on the club application over winter break, and B.Y.O.B. was approved by the start of the second semester.”
She designed B.Y.O.B. to be event-based...
“I thought rather than meeting weekly just for the sake of getting together, we should have a meaningful, participatory focus on specific events. Our club plans events that include visiting startups and inviting guests to share their entrepreneurial experiences. For example, last spring, we went on a trip to New York City to visit the companies Birch Coffee and Loco Coco to hear from the founders about their entrepreneurial journeys.”
...and its signature event is April’s Failure Fest.
“A senior at the time [Jake Gordon ’18] told me about an event-production company called F---up Nights. The group organizes events in dozens of countries, and at each event, three or four people share their own professional failures in front of an audience. The idea is to promote resilience and discourage giving up in spite of pitfalls. I realized this concept would resonate with our students. We initiated the concept with an entrepreneurial twist, naming it Failure Fest. We invited three Muhlenberg professors to discuss failures of their own—how the failures turned into successes or remained failures from which the speakers learned. Fifty people attended Failure Fest our first year, and attendance doubled our second year. It has now expanded beyond inviting professors to include celebrity guests, such as [Orange Is the New Black actor and HAIRiette founder] Tanya Wright. Failure Fest 2019 gained us a bit of fame, as WFMZ-TV covered it as well.”
She got her summer internship through a Muhlenberg connection...
"The networking possibilities at Muhlenberg have already paid huge dividends for me personally. At the 2019 Innovation Challenge, I met Rachel Berger ’11, who is the founder and executive director at The Artist Co-op (TAC), a co-working space for artists in New York City. Weeks later, I was granted the strategic planning and development intern position at TAC for the upcoming summer. I interned at TAC for three months and had the opportunity to learn what it is like to be a founder, as I had the privilege of working with and reporting to Rachel herself.”
...and she’s interning this fall at a startup in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
“This semester I am working at Rocket Cloud, located at Ben Franklin TechVentures in Bethlehem. Rocket Cloud is a technology company that helps industrial wholesalers successfully sell through e-commerce. I am a data analyst intern and have been analyzing and identifying trends and opportunities on Amazon. I am so thankful to be a part of a driven team that is eager to change and influence the digital world. Being surrounded by individuals who are ambitious and tenacious has strengthened and confirmed my passion for entrepreneurship.”