“Give the world an opportunity to give you a chance”
The Startmate Fellowship works to create pathways for talented women to find their sweet spot in a rocketship startup.
For Fellows, the program fast tracks knowledge, network and presence in the startup world. The Fellowship connects Fellows to a powerful network, works with them to translate their skills and experience into startups, and helps them land their dream job.
This “Take the Leap” series will showcase women in the startup ecosystem who took the leap, before anything like The Fellowship existed.
Anna began her career at Goldman Sachs as an Analyst in Brisbane, Associate in London, then VP in Sydney. It was 11 years later that she realised she needed a change and wanted to step into the world of change, ambiguity and really do something that would make an impact.
Q: Climbing the corporate ladder (titles, money) - what was attractive about that and made you stay as long as you did? Or what do you miss?
There are definitely still positives about being in the corporate world for some people who like continuity, structure, career trajectory and feeling ‘safe’. It’s when the same thing becomes mundane, or you feel you have reached your capacity in terms of learning, that a change needs to happen.
I love the start-up environment where there is a different opportunity everyday, the pace is fast, the energy is high and there’s room to make a big impact.
Q: At what point did you decide to leave corporate?
It was after having my second baby that I realised that time away from my family had to be doing something really significant and worthwhile to make it justified.
I worked for a year in a small business importing the world’s superfoods and that’s how I met Nick, our CEO at v2food. I discovered he was on a journey to feed the planet sustainably which I knew I wanted to be a part of.
Q: How have your career goals evolved throughout your career?
Achieving goals becomes easy when you love what you do. It’s hard to know exactly what you want to be when you ‘grow up’ but it’s about being passionate about what it is you are doing. I feel that when you first begin your career it’s about promotions and as you achieve those goals, it then becomes more about the ‘why I am doing this’ which is essentially what made me jump from corporate to startup.
Q: How did you build a network out of corporate and land a startup job?
Goldman Sachs made a fantastic effort to help build your network internally which I now realise is a great way to keep employees engaged internally; however when you look to make the jump outside it doesn’t help! Doors open up when you start having conversations with friends of friends or reaching out for a coffee with those you wouldn’t normally.
Q: Who have been your role models / mentors?
What do they say - shoot for the moon and you’ll land in the stars??!!
I’ve been reading my two girls the book series Little People, Big Dreams and there are amazing women who inspire me: Amelia Earhart, Ada Lovelace, Frida Kahlo and then today’s Michelle Obama and Jacinda Arden.
Q: What is your advice to people wanting to make a change
First of all, it’s not going to happen overnight but perseverance is key.
If one door shuts in your face, turn around and knock on the next door. Don’t give up!
Think about what it is you really love, or are really passionate about, and try to intertwine that into your next role.
For me it was first about health and nutrition. When that could then translate into sustainability and a future of feeding the planet as our population grows to 10 billion people, I was sold.
“If one door shuts in your face, turn around and knock on the next door. Don’t give up!”
Interested in applying for our next cohort of The Fellowship? Learn more here!
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