Welcome back to Friends with HEX, our new series where we catch up with HEX's most interesting companions, friends and mentors: Tech-Gurus, Superstar Speakers, Space-Cowboys, Imaginative Innovators, International Explorers, and many more!
Who are we meeting today? Alfie Torres is one of our HEX alumni who participated in our San Francisco program in 2018! Despite the program being more than four years ago, he keeps using the 'silicon-valley-mindset' he took on back then... Here's how!
Why HEX? Alfie expected to be an accountant or consultant because of the Commerce and IT degree he was studying. Little did he know that his passions were taking him down an unknown path that would shape his future!
Alfie's career trajectory soon changed as the problems he saw in this world motivated him to find entrepreneurial solutions. With his initial start-up idea, he first went through an incubator to join a HEX program. He wanted to determine how his start-up would fit into the San Francisco environment, but he also wanted to meet lots of new people.
Alfie's Career. When Alfie arrived at the HEX program, he had an opportunity to meet the previous cohort that had just finished their experience. I can only imagine how nerve-wracking this big networking assignment must have been right at the beginning to meet others and stand up for his idea. The anticipation and wonder of the experience must have been intense!
The HEX program challenged him to be more secure in his choices - concerning his start-up and life in general. Alfie also learnt to question his thought processes while assessing risks along the way. All those curious moments made him realize he wasn't 100% passionate about his initial start-up idea in 2018. So, he was back at the starting line – would he be an accountant or consultant after all?
But the entrepreneurial spirit had nestled itself into Alfie's brain and wouldn't leave anytime soon.
As you can see, Alfie's career pathway could have been more straightforward and clearly defined. However, he managed to take this uncertainty and use it to his advantage to explore his passions and in doing so, has crafted a pretty successful path for himself! (Take Alfie as an example, there's no need to panic and have it all figured out from day 1, peeps!)
What makes Alfie HEXtraordinarily special? After discovering his passion for building entrepreneurial solutions, he continued his e-commerce and IT degree focusing on accounting and security at Monash University in Australia. Nonetheless, he held on to the passion of supporting other entrepreneurs (or the 'Silicon Valley Mindset' as he calls it).
But not in like the grabbing-them-a-coffee-kinda-way. No, he is helping people create their first start-up apps! Because, you know, why not? Easy peasy lemon squeezy – or that's how he talks about it anyways.
He had finally found his people – it's all about the vibe, am I right? ☺ In terms of building a start-up, finding your people is necessary because you'll spend 24/7 with them on this idea!
And that's why Alfie works at HEX now, using his entrepreneurial skills and problem-solving superpower to enable others to pursue their passions. From a Commerce/IT background, Alfie pivoted his career and became a product builder concerned about the applicability and accessibility of products while continuing his side hustles that keep him inspired.
Alfie's Top Tips!
(1) 'Join events!' Have you heard of the phrase, "Make yourself the most interesting person in the room?". We propose an alternative - Make yourself the most interested (not interesting!) person in the room.
By really engaging and forming connections with others instead of asking simple questions, you'll be able to develop stronger relationships. (Yes, students, get out of your cocoons and become butterflies, please! It's in your hands...)
(2) What you learn at university doesn't define you! The connections you make and the topics you are passionate about making you stand out. Keep exploring by asking, listening and learning. It helps to grow your self-awareness, too!
(3) Understand yourself! But no pressure, right? If you don't yet, then don't worry. But try reading online, exploring what excites you, where you want to impact your life, and which topics matter to you the most. It's a continuous process, so try many new things and keep connecting to many new people – and enjoy life while learning about yourself!
Remember...What you study doesn't define your career trajectory. It is in your hands to get out there and explore your passions – most likely, they can be incorporated into or impact your future job role. Making working after university less daunting and more fun!
Watch the episode now!
You can find Alfie here: https://twitter.com/alfietorres_
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