My name is Sarah Case. I'm a program manager at NEVCA and founder of TechGen, focusing on connecting university students and the local innovation ecosystem. I am a California girl who made Boston my home, and I owe it to my friends and network who helped me get connected and launch my career here. I'm also passionate about helping people.
TechGen is the bridge between New England’s best university student and its top healthcare and technology companies. Our mission is to create personal connections between members of these two communities in ways that serve the interests of both, as well as the local innovation economy as a whole. TechGen consists of both an online platform and a social and educational program, highlighting the best of what it means to work and play in Massachusetts to ensure more students stay and build their futures here after graduation.
Building something from the ground up is daunting, exciting, hard, fun and incredibly rewarding. TechGen was an idea two years ago and it is incredibly gratifying to work so hard and see it come together. Hearing student and company stories about great internships and experiences always remind me that we're making a difference.
On the other hand, building something from the ground up is also challenging. There are so many unknowns for us and for our audience. We have to determine the "ground rules" and then educate students, companies and stakeholders on how we work, why we're here, and why they should engage. And all of that is so dynamic. In our first fall running the platform, we learned that while both students and companies are eager to connect, needs and timelines are much more varied compared to spring. So we’re working to adapt to this different hiring season. We’re also always expanding the TechGen community by going to more campuses and attending events across the community. We're essentially building the car as we drive it!
Boston is an incredible city for a lot of different reasons, one of which is that we have some of the best colleges and universities in our backyard, which breeds awesome ideas, great companies, etc. But as someone who came here for school and stayed, I didn't see clear paths to get involved. Whether it is volunteering, political action, networking for a career, etc. I didn’t really know how to get started. And there is so much here! So my vision is a Boston in which there are clear entry points into this community for young people making it even easier to call Boston home and to feel as though you're part of the fabric of this great city.
What advice would you give to the aspiring leaders and changemakers among Boston's millennial population?
Pay it forward. I actually have a list of 12 or so "tips and tricks" I share when I present at local colleges and universities but I think pay it forward is at the top. It's so important to be aware of those around you and always be ready and willing to help someone else out. If you're learning, growing and excelling, it's likely because you have someone or a group of people supporting and guiding you, so make sure to return the favor!
SPARK IMPACT AWARDS
SPARK Boston is Mayor Walsh’s millennial engagement initiative. Our mission is to engage the next generation of civic leaders and social entrepreneurs in the work of city government. From dedicated public servants to community builders and connectors, millennials are some of Boston’s most impactful citizens. Each year, the City of Boston celebrates the millennial contribution to our city with the Annual SPARK Impact Awards.