June 29, 2021
Jessica Nevers is a graduate of the UW Certificate in Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership, led by Project Ascendance’s Christy Johnson
Jessica Nevers’ goal with the program was to connect with inspirational women who individually and collectively shared an ambition to contribute to the entrepreneurial ecosystem. And as a Senior Manager of the strategy and transactions practice at Grant Thornton—an audit, tax and advisory firm—it was also important to dedicate time to exploring and pursuing her own entrepreneurial ambitions.
Jessica found the program useful for its guest speakers and the stimulating Saturday morning classroom sessions that inspired great ideas, helped unlock problems, and created serendipitous conversations. The guest speakers who came to share their experiences, knowledge, and insights brought great perspective and helped Jessica expand her network.
After the program, Jessica has been able to apply the learnings in her current role as an intrapreneur. Additionally, she’s exploring a business acquisition and search fund route while continuing to identify potential startup ideas.
If you’re considering the program, Jessica’s advice is that if entrepreneurism is an area of passion or curiosity for you, the program offers a wonderful opportunity to dedicate time to explore and learn more about the entire entrepreneurial ecosystem in a safe, supportive environment.
While you should be clear on what you get out of the program, Jessica has observed that it can support many different types of goals. Whether your objective is to learn more, explore new opportunities, connect with new people and new perspectives, or dedicate self-growth time to cultivate your own area of passion—all of these can be accomplished through the program.
Her advice to someone committed to joining is to come with a growth mindset. Be open and curious to new ideas, possibilities, knowledge, and connections that may lead you down paths you might have not predicted. She also recommends taking advantage of all the opportunities for learning by doing all the readings, completing the assignments, leveraging office hours, doing additional research, challenging your own ideas, and bringing thoughtful questions.
Jessica’s final piece of advice is don’t be afraid to be vulnerable: ask what’s on your mind, submit that assignment even though you don’t think it’s perfect, and show up even though you’re nervous, or scared, or intimidated.