Dean Miesner is an Economics senior at Michigan State University. Dean came on board as an intern for Conquer Accelerator's first cohort at the start of its 2016 summer season.
As Conquer Accelerator begins wrapping up its second season, we sat down with our intern staff to discuss their experiences. Here's the result of our conversation with Dean.
Well, Dean, this is year two for you. What would you say you've learned?
Some might think I’m kidding or being hyperbolic when I say this, but . . . I really feel as though I’ve learned more in my two seasons at Conquer than in all the classes I’ve taken during high school—or even my three years of college.
I think the most important thing I’ve taken away from my Conquer experience is the premium value of time. Finding a balance between doing what I like to do and what I am good at has given me a new perspective and a direction for the years ahead of me and my professional life. Further, Conquer has honed my skills as a business owner and operator, which has proved to have an immense, positive impact on me, my team, and my company’s direction.
Can you tell us a little about your experience working with the Conquer Accelerator's team and cohort?
The people I get to work and build relationships with are what attracted me the most to Conquer in the first place. Tom Stewart is an incredible mentor to me and has helped me grow as an entrepreneur and a person, beyond what I could ever ask for. The relationships I’ve invested in during each Conquer cohort will carry on and be with me for the rest of my life—which incredibly valuable.
I was surprised at how working so hard brings people so close. We spend all day working together, we go out to lunch together . . . and you’d think by the end of the day we’d be sick of each other, but then we end up playing volleyball or Go-Karting.
What are you most excited about, as we wrap up this year?
I am most excited to see how much this year’s cohort teams grow, following the program. This being my second year, it was awesome to see the first cohort’s growth a full year following the program, knowing just how much impact Conquer had on the teams’ growth. Getting to see York Project, for instance, in the mall by my house in Farmington Hills was one of the coolest experiences.
Not only am I excited to see how the teams grow, but I’m also interested in seeing how the program itself grows. One of the many reasons I wanted to come back for a second year was the opportunity to be a huge part of the program’s growth. I wanted to leave my own mark, cementing Conquer’s future success.
Travis Stoliker joining the #ConquerTrbe, in my view, is a huge win. He has a unique perspective and is having a large impact on each team’s growth. I am ecstatic to see Conquer and Michigan State University becoming the premier spot for growing businesses in Michigan.
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