Though the Dingman Center is perhaps best known for its venture creation programs, we are also very passionate about giving students opportunities to give back to the existing innovation economy. A student who is able to experience the fast-paced, fluid environment of a startup inevitably cultivates a broad skillset and knowledge-base that further enriches their careers, whether as entrepreneurs or intrapreneurs. Though the potential outcomes of a startup internship are highly attractive, the reality is that many students hesitate when choosing a lower startup salary over a higher one offered by a corporate entity. The Kathryn Stewart Fellowship Program and Hisaoka Fellowship Program exist to provide students who are eager to spend their summer interning at a startup with a stipend to supplement their salaries.
Kathryn Stewart Fellowship Program
Through a generous donation by Dingman Center Angel and Board of Advisors member Kathryn Stewart, this program awards a $3,000 scholarship to undergraduate students who are able to secure a summer internship with venture capital or angel-funded startups and early stage companies. Now in its second year, meet the 2016 Kathryn Stewart Fellows:
Matthew Furda – Javazen
Matthew Furda is a chemical engineering student at the University of Maryland. Matthew discovered his passion for entrepreneurship while working in the D.C. Uber office during the summer. At Uber, Matthew fell in love with the fast-paced and innovative startup environment the office provided. Though his interest in entrepreneurship is recent, he has always been a self-starter with a desire to create and experiment. At an early age Matthew taught himself to cook, and it is now a hobby and passion. Cooking combines his desire to experiment with his passion for chemistry in a creative and artistic manner. In high school Matthew became fascinated with sourdough bread baking, and he experimented with wild yeast strains. His fascination later led to an interest in beer brewing, as the process of fermenting specific ingredients involves both scientific and artistic aspects. Matthew is currently working on a brewing related business idea as a side project which he plans to pitch at the Dingman Center’s Dingman Fridays. This summer he will intern at Javazen, a company founded by three University of Maryland alumni that specializes in tea-infused coffee blends.
Erich Meissner – LiftOff Health
Erich Meissner is a sophomore studying electrical engineering and entrepreneurship. He is a part of entrepreneurial organizations like the Startup Shell, the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Honors Program (EIP), and the Hinman CEOs program. He cofounded uBoard, a UMD startup that competed in the Pitch Dingman Competition Finals. He is working on the NASA Space Race Competition, an international challenge for student entrepreneurs to harness ten open-sourced NASA technologies into a consumer-facing product and possibly a full-fledged company. Erich has interned in the healthcare industry and is interested in founding a startup in predictive medicine and preventative diagnostics in the future. His past awards include UMD’s Banneker/Key Scholarship. Erich is excited to be working at LiftOff Health, the largest virtual accelerator for healthcare innovation.
Emily Turner – Hybrent Inc.
Emily Turner is an International Business and Marketing major at the Robert H. Smith School of Business. She just spent her spring semester of junior year studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain. Emily is a member of the College Park Scholars, where she participated in the International Studies program. She is also an active member of Kappa Delta sorority. Emily has worked for a startup marketing firm in her hometown of Morristown, New Jersey for the past two years. She hopes to use her Spanish speaking skills and marketing skills in her future career. This summer she will be working as a marketing intern for Hybrent Inc. in Reston, Virginia.
Hisaoka Fellowship Program
Now in its third year, the Hisaoka Fellowship Program was created through a generous gift from Smith School Advisory Board Member Robert G. Hisaoka ’79 to assist first-year Smith MBA students who are highly interested in entrepreneurial innovation and startups. The accepted fellows receive a $5,000 scholarship to supplement their summer salaries. Get to know our 2016 Hisaoka Fellows:
Ashish Agarwal – MPower Financing
Ashish Agarwal has 7 years’ experience working in the startup environment in India with various roles in Analytics and Strategy. His work has helped him earn Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from Project Management Institute (PMI), Six Sigma Green Belt Credential from American Society for Quality (ASQ) and Online Marketing Certified Professional (OMCP) credentials with specialization in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Web Analytics. At the Smith, Ashish is a dual degree MBA and MS in Information Systems student, with a concentration in business analytics. He is also the founding president of Smith’s Graduate Data Analytics Club. In addition to his professional experience, Ashish is an active practitioner of Vedic mathematics, an ancient Indian way of solving math problems. His other interests include cooking, backpacking and teaching.
Arjun Goel –Martin Development Corporation
Prior to starting his MBA at Smith, Arjun Goel was a Technical Project Manager at the American Institutes for Research, a nonprofit organization involved in, among other things, facilitating online statewide educational assessments for K-12 students. During his 4.5 years there, Arjun gained valuable experience managing multiple clients across different projects. At Smith, Arjun is focused on Entrepreneurial Finance and is looking to leverage his technical background to transition into venture capital with a focus on early stage technology companies.
Jennifer Hwang – Rybbon
Jennifer is interested in Marketing and Human Capital. Before she decided to pursue an MBA, Jennifer looked to her maternal great grandmother, who started her own tea leaf retail business, for inspiration and confidence. Prior to starting her MBA at Smith, Jennifer worked for four years in higher education and publishing. Since orientation, Jennifer has taken advantage of the resources offered by the Dingman Center such as Dingman Fridays. She is passionate about food and would love to work in the food industry upon graduation.
Shwetha Reddy – SnobSwap
Prior to starting her MBA, Shwetha Reddy had worked for 8 years mainly in the UK in the telecoms, investment banking, and IT services industries. She’s had extensive product lifecycle and agile experience and has worked in multiple functional areas including software design and development, business analysis, product, and project delivery. She hails from an entrepreneurial family and has been actively involved in the startup community at school. As a board member of the entrepreneurship club, she participated in the school’s first ever trek to the Bay Area and attended the TechCrunch conference last year along with a handful of first and second years. She is passionate about product, technology, and innovation and interned at a startup as a product manager last winter. Shwetha is now keen on leveraging her rich experience and her creative abilities to pursue an exciting career in product management.