When someone speaks to peoples’ passions, that person will have a captivated audience. We in the WHSAD Makerspace have been fortunate to have presenters who have recognized that what makes for good presentations is what our students want to know and have to say. This week, Anastasia Simon spoke with an authenticity about working in the venture capital field, how her career flexibility has been an asset to her, and what she hopes to see as a more sustainable future.
Below is her full conversation with the students and some student takeaways from the meeting.
Today’s presentation was one of the most inspirational ones so far for me during this program. Anastasia was really inspiring because she was a black woman working in the tech field and she looked like a go-getter and a hard worker. When someone asked her if she was going to change her career in a few years she said she probably will. That was really motivational for me because I’m thinking about a career that I’d like to work on but now I realize that if it doesn’t work out I can always do something new. There’s always more space for growth and learning.
-Hailey Paulino, Junior
In today’s presentation with Anastasia Simon, she was very straight forward and gave us her clear thoughts and opinions when we asked questions. Towards the middle of the Q&A she got a question on what are some tips for us young adults going into college with no plans of what we really want to be. She told us to try and find something we are passionate about and really love doing. She also let us know she didn’t always plan on doing the work she is in now. She was in high-school with a totally different plan for her career, and she came out of college doing something else. This part really stood out to me because it lets me know it’s okay to not be 100% with your career plans when you jump straight into college. It’s okay to change your mind about your career path.
Another response she gave that really stood out to me was when someone had asked, “Do you think that our generation will have a big change in climate tech since we are more involved? “ Anastasia gave her response straight forward when she said she hopes for our generation to really kill it and make something happen with her generation laying out the ground work for us. It really shows how seasoned workers, such as Anastasia, depend on us young adults to make a greater future with climate tech and lots of other work. This presentation was very informative and I really enjoyed being able to watch this presentation first hand.
-Sonia Gonzalez, Senior
The world we live in is more important than any of us realizes. However, as Anastasia Simon spoke on how her firm, Shadow Ventures, currently plans to make changes, we can gain a little better understanding. The primary focus of her presentation and her firm is trying to identify companies that are more environmentally friendly and leading the way in “green building tech”. She also dived deeper into her job as a venture capitalist and how her position of investing has helped her in her current and previous jobs. She continued with investing and understanding the aspects of investing in certain companies, especially green companies which Ms. Simon envisions as being some of the most profitable. She also describes her feelings toward the future and how she believes our generation can be one of the most pivotal for solving environmental issues and helping to improve the planet based on the foundation that she along with her firm have laid down.
Ms. Simon then touched on the topic of being a woman in the field and how, even though there are many women in her field ,there also remains many hurdles to jump over and traction to be gained. Ms. Simon continued with her hopes for the future and her belief that many younger individuals will be the people to make the changes that shape the future with new ideas on old problems not yet solved. After answering several of our questions, Ms. Simon then continued her presentation and spoke on some of the companies that she and her firm have invested in with energy based ideas such as indoor air quality, energy efficiency, and water technology. Overall, Ms. Simon is a very knowledgeable person and as she spoke it felt, as if her thoughts were setting up a path to follow. Investing is something that everyone has thought of to get ahead in life, and hearing from someone who does it for a living is perfection for us young adults. Having Anastasia Simon speak for us was influential and helpful, and I hope to hear her thoughts again soon.
-Gilver Bueno, Senior
Today’s presentation with Anastasia Simon was very informative. We all learned so much, and she was definitely a great speaker. Learning about her company and what she does in venture capital brought a lot of curiosity to all the students. It was great to hear about the market and hearing about Anastasia’s work experience as a black woman. Personally, she helped me because I just began investing, and it was good to hear advice on what I should and shouldn’t be doing. She advised against solely following the media and investing in what people say because you never know their credentials. I am also eager to see what suggestions she has for us and what information she will be providing for us about which are good companies to invest in. I am also looking forward to seeing what she will bring for My Sister’s Keeper, where we want to begin learning about finance and she will be guest speaking in as well.
-Hailey Brizuela, Senior
I found the presentation today with Anastasia Simon very informative and beneficial. Not only was she extremely respectful and kind but she answered all of our questions in a thorough manner. She also gave us insight on her job, and the role she had to and continues to play as a black women in this industry. Furthermore, she provided us with information on the marketing industry. I found this topic extremely informative and beneficial for numerous reasons. One main reason I felt this way was because I currently am learning about the trading market as well as stocks in my economics class. Being that I am currently learning this information, I found this presentation beneficial as she answered all my questions and cleared any confusion of mine. In addition, I learned valuable information that I can incorporate into my assignments and classroom. For example, she told us not to trust what people say and the information on the media platforms because we don’t know what their credentials are. Overall, I found this presentation very beneficial and informative as the knowledge I gained today can be used for personal interests or in the classroom.
Ryan Singh, Senior