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Day In The Life: Meet Venture For America Fellow Laura Lopez

Estimated reading time ~ 5 min
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Laura Lopez
Communications and Community Manager, VentureLab
San Antonio, TX
Twitter: @laulobarb

7:15am: Rise and shine! I start my day with NPR’s Latino USA. Today’s podcast is about diversity in the tech industry, and it’s a great way to get mentally alert for work. For breakfast, I make a smoothie with coconut water, spinach, celery, pineapple, cucumber, green apple, and ginger for an extra boost of energy. I munch on a slice of avocado toast and check Gmail and Slack (the instant messaging system we use at VentureLab) for any urgent messages.

8:45am: Time for the daily team huddle on Zoom video chat with the VentureLab team. It’s one of the rituals I appreciate most because it allows our office of three employees and three remote associates to connect and share our focus for the day. Working at a startup education nonprofit that equips girls with an entrepreneurial mindset to become tomorrow’s leaders has been a really empowering first job out of college. As VentureLab’s community and communications manager, I lead outreach on educational initiatives and manage digital communications.

Laura Lopez

9:10am: I’m out the door for work. As an L.A. native, my 10-minute commute in San Antonio is truly heaven-sent. Our office space is a brightly lit with an open floor plan and a couple of areas carved out for people that need a quiet space. We also have a quasi-classroom set up with mobile chairs and lightweight tables that can be rearranged. This comes in handy when we host groups of international visitors, or, more recently, a visit from 20 high school girls wanting to learn more about education startups and entrepreneurship education.

9:45am: I check in with our marketing and community outreach interns via Asana, the task management platform we use to track all of our projects. I give them feedback on social media and email copywriting. Being a recent graduate helps me relate to interns.

10:45am: Because we are a small (but mighty) team, we often collaborate on projects. I hop on a Zoom video call with Leslie, our program manager and resident expert on all things related to girls’ learning. We are almost done co-drafting a couple of proposals to present at the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools conference on innovation. It’s a great opportunity to learn from notable education experts and share the knowledge that VentureLab has amassed over the years, working with young students to teach technology and entrepreneurship. After final review, we click the glorious “submit” button and cross our fingers that we’ll make it to D.C.

11:45am: Time for a much needed coffee break. I run into a Teach For America staff member on my way back from the kitchen. We recently moved into a shared workspace with TFA, and both of our teams are excited to grow our partnership. In fact, to take advantage of our shared suite and open up our beautiful space to more people, we are launching EdHub SA, San Antonio's first collaborative work space dedicated to education. I head back to VentureLab's office space and respond to emails over a warm cup of coffee. I see several Hubspot notifications signaling new sign-ups for a professional development training that we are hosting and make a note to revisit this before end of day.

12:40pm: In an effort to minimize the number of times I eat out during the week, I settle for a lunch of brown rice, tofu, and maple syrup-sriracha brussel sprouts at my desk. I check my Facebook page and send a few funny gifs to my coworker on Slack.

1:10pm: I locate marketing materials for a brand guide I’m creating for an international group that is running one of our enrichment programs. The venture will be our first international summer camp -- we are already in a couple of states in the U.S. – so we’re excited about this opportunity and want to ensure that they have a great experience.

Laura Lopez 2

2:30pm: Break time! I head out with my teammate, Claudette. We stop by Sip, a local coffee shop (that has a killer dirty chai latte). Afterwards, we take advantage of San Antonio’s beautiful weather and take the scenic walk back to the office.

3:10pm: I hop on VentureLab's social media channels to manage our followers' engagement. I also make note of any interesting articles or topics that we can draw inspiration from, or that align with our mission. As team members, we often share thought-provoking articles amongst ourselves on with our followers and network.

4:10pm: I draft social media posts and emails for our interactive workshops for schools. Because we have an amazing team with backgrounds in technology, STEM, entrepreneurship, and education, we love sharing our knowledge and providing teachers with useful information. We are testing Facebook ads and other avenues for promoting these free events, so I hop on Hubspot and see that we are getting several sign-ups from direct traffic. I post on a couple of local Google groups for educators to test its effectiveness.

5:40pm: There are no other major projects that I have to work on today (a rare occurrence that I intend to fully take advantage of) so I head home! My roommate Adriana and I go for a jog around our neighborhood.

7:00pm: After a shower, I get a jump start on reviewing a video that a local agency has been producing for VentureLab. It documents our first youth startup competition, where six teams competed for seed funding for their businesses. I add in suggested edits and draft an email to our VP of Development so she can refer to them when she gives final approval.

8:15pm: My roommates and I head over to our friends’ apartment for dinner. We are all Venture for America Fellows who now work for startups in San Antonio, so we try to have a weekly dinner to check in and stay connected. Tonight, Dimitri and Matt (who are phenomenal cooks) make fish papillote -- a dish prepared by wrapping fish and vegetables in parchment paper and roasting it in the oven. I always look forward to this wonderful mix of food, conversation, and frequent impromptu jam sessions (which make me slightly regret never learning to play an instrument).

10:45pm: Back at home, I dive into Brené Brown’s book, Daring Greatly. I’m amazed by the warmth and openness of the people I’ve met since moving to San Antonio. This book provides very helpful insights into vulnerability and trust that I would love to grow and implement in my own life.

11:20pm: Lights out. I hope …

Venture for America is a Jopwell partner company.

Images by Emily Bowe

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