Sorry for the long title, but I had a pretty transformative experience last week I wanted to write about because it literally just confirmed why I love Viterbi, and why every woman should go here.
So like I’ve blogged about A LOT before (since this has consumed my life), I’m starting a company! And we’re starting it with the Viterbi Min Family Social Entrepreneurship Challenge.
So this will be my last Min family blog (hopefully), but I hope it shows you how amazing Viterbi is for the women in this school!
So last week, was the Min Family finals, and I haven’t blogged, gone to class, hung out with friends or anything for what feels like the last month, because I’ve been HUSSLEING (sp?) SO HARD for the finals. The finals was a 5 minute presentation and 5 minute Q&A on our company. The prepping felt like it took forever, but that 5 minute presentation went by soooo fast. Literally no idea what I even said or did. It was like a blur and my hand was shaking the whole time.
To preface what I’m about to say next, I’m starting a menstrual cup company, a company just for women and the judges we’ve had have been traditionally men. It hasn’t ever been a problem, and for all those that are getting angry, please don’t. It’s not worth your energy! It’s the real world, and going out and being a Bo$$ A$$ female entrepreneur is the only way to change it!!
So for our final presentation, we had just finished our 5 minute Q&A and I was about ready to go sit down, when one male judge said he needed 30 more seconds. (These judges are VC’s and university potential donors so they can never really say no) He told all the women in the room to raise their hands, and then went on to ask, if they were given a free product, would they use it? Keep your hands up (all women kept their hands up). If they had to pay $30, would you still use it? Some women put their hands down. In that moment, I felt the need (aka nervous word vomit) to make a point that not all the women in this room still have their periods. All the women in the room just nodded and agreed, but the men in the room bursted out red in the face laughing. Feeling so uncomfortable, I just smiled and my memory blacked out because I literally don’t remember the next 5 minutes of people laughing and heckling until one AMAZING women (Female Marshall Faculty) that we had talked to early in this competition stood up for us telling the judge that what we’re saying is completely valid, and then other women starting making comments to him too. With the room in chaos the coordinators shut it down and just said thank you and told us to sit down.
CRAZY RIGHT. I had no idea what had just happened, but after all the the presentations were over, the coordinators came up to me and applauded what I had just said (which tbh I don’t even remember and was a complete blur) and confirmed what that judge did was inappropriate. Male and female faculty of Viterbi and Marshall came up to me, gave me high fives and hugs and said what I did was amazing and were so proud of everything we had done and were going to make sure that the judges understood what that judge just did to us and how we did not deserve that.
My best friend since 9th grade (when we met) that came to watch!!
And then 2 HOURS LATER!! The judges made their decision and we won 2nd place!!! Which meant $10k for starting Lotus Cups!!!! I learned that day, how amazing the men and women are in Viterbi at all levels, from the Vice Dean of Entrepreneurship, to the Vice Dean of Student Affairs, to the coordinators of this competition, to my best friends at USC and from high school that came to support, Viterbi is a family that stands up for what is right and their own, and I’ve never been more proud to be a woman engineering entrepreneur!
When I got my period when I was 12, I had to go talk to my single dad. I was terrified of the potential awkwardness of this conversation. I told him. He got up without saying anything and came back with a package of pads he pulled from his bathroom. He'd bought it over a year ago to plan for this fateful moment and showed me how open and accepting all genders should be of women's health. Today I learned how long of a path women still have before all men can be as amazing as my dad was. Happy Birthday daddy, winning second place in the Min Family Challenge and getting $10k to start Lotus Cups and empower women's health is for you. Missing you everyday. Xoxo. Also shout out to the most amazing friends for coming out to support us and watch our presentation. Felt so much love today!! #VAGINAAAAAS
Now off to celebrate at Coachella and hear Kendrick’s new album drop!! Comment if you’ve also been listening to Humble on repeat…