By: Christina Alcena
When I first found out I had been placed with WEtech Alliance as part of the University of Windsor’s Volunteer Internship Program, I was a little hesitant, and almost turned down the position as I feared my lack of knowledge about entrepreneurship, as well as technology would hold me back. However having spent roughly five months with WEtech Alliance, I have gained so much insight into the exciting world of entrepreneurship, especially within the Windsor-Essex region, that I am extremely grateful that I accepted my placement.
I did not get to work closely with all of them, but the WEtech team invited me in with open arms, and always treated me with kindness and respect. Although extremely focused and dedicated to their cause, “WEtech Lane,” is also a fun, friendly, and energetic environment, and I enjoyed coming to work every day.
As I write this blog, I cannot help but think back to a year ago today, when I first moved home to Windsor after living in Toronto for the past two years. Moving back was hard, as I felt Windsor-Essex had nothing to offer me in terms of internship and volunteer opportunities realted to communications and social media. My resume was a blank slate, and I spent my days regretting my decision to move back home. One year later, my outlook on the city, as well as my resume, could not be more different. I currently hold two communications-based positions at the University of Windsor, and without the valuable experience and job-related skills gained at WEtech Alliance, this would not have been possible. In addition, working closely on a number of WEtech events including Startup Canada’s May 2012 visit to Windsor, has allowed me to connect with a number of local companies and see the great amount of innovation and creativity Windsor-based startups have to offer.
Interning with WEtech Alliance has taught me the value of volunteering within your community. Invaluable experience, contacts, and knowledge will be gained by volunteering your time to worthwhile organizations, and moving forward, I will continue to volunteer at local organizations, and encourage my peers to do so as well. It seems like the current buzzword circulating the city is ‘braindrain.’ Skilled young people are leaving the city, as they feel there is a lack of opportunity here. I encourage organizations in all sectors to reach out to the youth of our city, and invite them to volunteer. By helping them develop their skills, as well as showing them, as WEtech Alliance has shown me, that Windsor-Essex has a wide range of opportunities for young professionals to succeed in their future careers, perhaps this growing phenomenon can be a thing of the past.