Madison Huang is a BETA Camp alum from Summer 2020. She loves the idea of using business as a tool for positive change, and shares how BETA Camp helped her to develop the confidence to pursue her dreams.
"I didn't know anyone at BETA Camp, so it gave me an opportunity to reinvent myself. At school I was quiet, and reluctant to speak up in class. BETA Camp gave me the freedom to voice my ideas and speak out."
Madison Huang is in her senior year of high school, and an incoming freshman at Stanford University.
Throughout high school in her home state of Florida, she was involved in a number of business-related activities at school. She hopes to one day combine her interests in business and biology to work in an industry such as biotechnology. She loves the idea of using business as a tool to help those around her, and shares how BETA Camp helped her to develop the confidence to pursue her dreams.
Tell us a bit about life at your high school:
I’m a senior in high school and I’m quite involved in a lot of business related activities. I’m part of a social entrepreneurship program where we learn how we can use entrepreneurship to help the world and solve social issues. Every year we compete in what is called the Diamond Challenge competition. During my first year we focused on social innovation and worked on a project about human trafficking. The next year we concentrated on business innovation and investigated biodegradable contact lenses. I’m also the Vice-President of DECA at my school.
How did you first hear about BETA Camp?
My sister found information about BETA Camp on a Facebook group chat and forwarded it to me, encouraging me to look into it. I applied, and got accepted into the program that was run during the summer of 2020, the inaugural BETA Camp cohort.
It must have been exciting being part of the first cohort! What was it like?
I had a really great time at BETA Camp. The fact that the program was completely virtual made it a lot less of an intimidating environment. I didn't know anyone at BETA Camp, so it gave me an opportunity to reinvent myself. At school I was quiet, and reluctant to speak up in class. BETA Camp gave me the freedom to voice my ideas and speak out because there is this distance over Zoom.
Tell me a bit more about the freedom BETA Camp gave you.
At the very beginning we were told BETA camp is what you make of it. I definitely tried to make the most of it. During the workshops and panel discussion I'd ask questions or add my own commentary. I wasn't afraid to speak up. And that's how my team kind of came together.
One of my team members commented that he felt I was great at speaking and had a lot of great ideas, and that he wanted to work with me. That got me thinking that if I have these good ideas, I should share them instead of being afraid of embarrassing myself.
What did you do for your start-up?
For our start-up we did created TeachAdapt. At the time all the teachers were being trained to transition to virtual school. We wanted to help them to make their classrooms more engaging and help their students learn better by implementing different types of software. For example, BETA Camp uses Miro a lot, so we hosted around 10 sessions with teachers about how to use that platform, and the different ways they could integrate it into their curriculum.
What happened at the end of BETA Camp?
I joined the BETA Camp team as an intern! I put my name forward, and myself, plus three other students were selected to become community leaders. What we did was to plan socials and helped to host and facilitate the workshops. It was a really fun experience and I still keep in touch with the three students that I worked with. At the very end, we had a Zoom session where we shared gratitudes. I remember having people say things like, “Thank you Madison, you made BETA Camp feel like such a welcoming environment.” It was such a full-circle moment: the ability to recreate the environment that meant so much to me for other students.
What comes next?
I recently was accepted to Stanford University! In college, I want to study business, or maybe do a double major with a biology degree. This past summer I interned with a biotech company who manufactures gene therapy products for the treatment of cancer and other diseases. When I start my career, something in that field would be very interesting. I would love to work at one of these companies, and maybe build my own start-up further down the line.