On Wednesday, March 16, 2022, the Buccino Leadership Institute held its first fireside chat between executive director Dr. Bryan Price and senior leadership student Belén Gamarra. During this event, Belen shared her experience as a collegiate entrepreneur with Dr. Price and the Seton Hall community.
For this event, our Podcast Director, Kai DeJesus, recorded this event for the Undergraduate Student Leader's podcast. The event will be posted to the podcast's channel later this semester. Additionally, this event was livestreamed using InstagramLive. This was the institute's first live-streamed event and it allowed students and listeners from across the country to tune into the event. Several students, associate deans, and additional followers of our page tuned in to listen to this lively discussion and posted comments and/or emojis showing support for Belén.
Belén is a senior psychology major with a minor in business administration. At the encouragement of a friend, Belen applied to the institute during the second semester of her freshman year. The Institute holds very few spots for rising sophomores, making admission very selective. Nevertheless, Belén was accepted among a very competitive pool of students and has become an integral member of the program. Along with being a member of the Buccino Leadership Institute, Belén is the President of Seton Hall's Women in Business and is a Joseph A. Unanue Latino Institute scholar. Very few members of the Seton Hall Community are members of both prestigious institutes and Belén's involvement in each is a testament to her leadership skills and academic excellence.
At Wednesday's event, Belén and Dr. Price discussed how she got involved with entrepreneurship and her business endeavors thus far in her career. Belén explained how she was introduced to entrepreneurship during her time as a member of Women in Business. This club not only taught Belén skills that would help her become a successful entrepreneur after graduation, but it encouraged her to pursue her passion for entrepreneurship during her undergraduate years.
Belén's passion for entrepreneurship stemmed from her parents and the values they instilled in her. During Wednesday's discussion, she shared how her parents were immigrants who came to American with very little. Their experience in America has influenced Belén's perspective of the world and has caused her to view entrepreneurship as a way to obtain financial freedom. This financial appeal comes from an entrepreneur's ability to be responsible for their own income and establish their own professional goals. Additionally, Belén sees entrepreneurship as an opportunity to give back to her parents and community.
During her time at Seton Hall, Belén partnered with fellow Buccino Leadership Student Faith Akinlade to create a business concept for people to form meaningful relationships at fitness studios. Belén and Faith recognized the importance between interpersonal relationships and mental health. This resulted in them creating a business concept to help members take a more effective role in their behavioral health. With their product, they aim to create connections among gymgoers so that going to the gym is not an isolated process. By creating a space for fitness enthusiasts to make meaningful connections, the gym can be a space that benefits both one's physical and mental health.
Belén and Faith Pitched their idea at the Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Care Transformation Challenge in November of 2019. At this event, these two leaders won first place and five thousand dollars to continue developing their idea. Additionally, they competed in Seton Hall's Pirate's Pitch and went through the Pirates Accelerator Launchpad program. Each endeavor entailed researching markets, completing customer discovery, formulating a business plan, and pitching their idea to several judges.
Belén is currently expanding this idea into her own company and is further developing the app that her and Faith started. She hopes to continue this work after she graduates this spring. We cannot wait to see where your entrepreneurial journey takes you and we are excited to see how your idea expands!