On November 1, we’re celebrating our 20th birthday with a special edition of Mindshare Day – our annual celebration where Mindshare offices worldwide come together to help a good cause. For this event, we’re partnering with global nonprofit Enactus, powering the next generation of leaders to address the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Enactus is dedicated to inspiring university students to improve the world through entrepreneurial action, uniting students with academic and business leaders to tackle the challenges facing the world. This year, Enactus includes 72,000 students at 1,700 university campuses in 36 countries.
In the lead-up to Mindshare Day, we sat down with Axel M. Melo-DeJesus, an Associate on our Digital Investment team in New York who had previously participated in Enactus as a student. Axel shared his experiences with the program and what he wants everyone to take away from the organization.
1) What inspired you to get involved with Enactus?
While attending university, I knew that I would have to work extremely hard to get some real-world experience if I wanted get a good job out of school. Enactus provided that for me tenfold. I was initially interested in joining Enactus when I saw so many of my peers, upperclassmen in particular, partaking in a plethora of events on campus and engaging with all sorts of different businesses and organizations in our college town. That interest grew when I learned that all of my upperclassmen friends were going to Chicago to present on the impact all of their projects had made in that academic year at the U.S. National Exposition. To top it all off, all of those who attended returned with multiple job offers from major companies. I was sold!
2) What kinds of projects did your chapter work on, and present, at the National Competition?
My role in Enactus was the VP of Communication where I oversaw multiple teams and their projects. In this role, I created a seamless way for all of the teams to get in front of the media when their events and important milestones were occurring. We had multiple projects going on throughout the year, which we presented at the U.S. National competition in 2015:
- Girl Scouts of WNY: Partnered with the Girl Scouts of Western New York and held multiple workshops aimed at empowering young women with our “Ingredients for Success” program.
- United Way: Partnered with the United Way of Western NY to organize a bike race that showcased the local vineyards of Chautauqua County. The race passed through the gorgeous scenic routes of our vineyards.
- RecycleINK: Enhanced the financial literacy of our under-privileged communities by holding workshops on how to be professional and find ways of increasing their income.
- EDGE Consulting: Collaborated with local businesses to help them achieve measurable goals for sustainable businesses creating an inclusive environment for our business communities. For example, we connected with a local artist to open a gallery that showcased and sold artwork from students, local, and Buffalo artists, enabling them to progress their art hobbies into a successful income source.
3) Tell us one thing that you want companies and business leaders to know about partnering with Enactus.
The students who participate in Enactus are doing some miraculous things for the world. The competition makes it extremely tough to stand out and these students are consistently beating benchmarks and proving to be versatile entrepreneurs with the outcomes they achieve. Employers of future trailblazers should definitely have a look at what Enactus is doing to make the world a better place.