MacKenzie Caputo was an intern for the Female Founders Alliance. She is currently studying International and Public Affairs with a minor in Statistics and Machine Learning at Princeton University.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
I grew up outside Seattle with two siblings. From the ages of four to seventeen, I channeled most of my energy into figure skating where I competed on a national level. When I wasn’t skating, I enjoyed volunteering for a Nepalese organization dedicated to supporting young Nepalese girls through education. During this experience, I directly witnessed, for the first time, the effects of female empowerment. Ever since, I’ve found myself drawn to organizations with a focus on opening opportunities to talented, driven women.
How was your life impacted by COVID-19?
In March of 2020, I, along with thousands of other college students, was sent home from Princeton as colleges and universities around the country converted to remote learning. In August, when Princeton announced that it would keep the remote learning format for the fall, I decided to take a gap year.
Tell us about the company you are interning for and what have you been working on.
I have been interning for FFA, a company that connects their curated network of female entrepreneurs and CEOs with venture capital. Focusing on data analysis, I co-authored a report on gender and entrepreneurship during the pandemic with FFA CEO, Leslie Feinzaig. Additionally, I’ve been analyzing data on our founders’ companies to help FFA gain greater insight into what our curated network of founders.
Has there been a certain project or experience during your internship that you would like to share?
This internship has given me many meaningful, valuable experiences, ranging from attending Ready Set Party to working directly with mentors, Rohre and Amanda. If I had to pick a single stand-out experience from the past several months, the opportunity to work together with Leslie Feinzaig on the Gender and Entrepreneurship During the Pandemic report jumps to the forefront of my mind. Leslie not only provided incredible insight and guidance throughout the process, but the opportunity to see her process, specifically how she extracted key takeaways from the data, was an invaluable learning experience.
What are some goals for a future career?
I’ve always been one of those kids who never quite knew how to answer the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I chose Princeton because of its liberal arts focus and its opportunities to study a multitude of different subjects. Throughout my two years at Princeton, I’ve followed my interests, taking classes in a range of departments, slowly narrowing down my career aspirations to the broad category of business. Through working with FFA, I’ve seen the impact, drive, and skill of young entrepreneurs. This has been incredibly inspiring and makes me not only consider a future in entrepreneurship, but helps me realize that I want a future career where I can use business to solve problems.
Who are your role models/ inspires you? Why?
My role model is Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her drive, tenacity, and commitment to her beliefs is truly inspiring. I leave her book, “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” on my nightstand as a constant reminder that barriers can be broken.
What do you consider your superpower?
I would say that listening is my super power. I’ve found that people will communicate honestly if I create the opportunity and environment for them to do so.