Ever since the COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, released her book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, millions have been “leaning in” and encouraging women to pursue their ambitions. Sandberg’s “female manifesto” quickly evolved into a global community on the site LeanIn.Org, where women around the world can join a supportive community, gain practical skills, and connect with Lean In Circles (small peer groups).

In the last two years, LeanIn.org has housed 22,000 circles in 160 countries and has created a network of over 500 corporate and non-profit partners. Here’s the best part – Sage Corps has joined the movement as an official LeanIn.Org Partner!

So how is Sage Corps leaning in? By introducing top-tier female college students to global entrepreneurship and technology through internships with international startups. To date, 43% of our Sage Corps Fellows are driven women who are choosing to lean in and achieve their goals.

We recently caught up with one of Sage Corps' Women Alumni, Maryama Diaw - a rising senior at Dartmouth College, who's majoring in Geography modified with Arabic and minoring in Government. Her experience interning at the Hong Kong startup, The Cloudminer LTD, left Maryama with incredible insight and advice for those looking to take the same "global next step." Check out the interview below!

Set goals for yourself and own them.
— Sage Corps Alum, Maryama Diaw

Q: How has Sage Corps impacted you on a personal and professional level? Sage Corps really helped me realize how many cool and unconventional areas startups help disrupt. It's important to me that this continues to happen. Sage Corps has helped me realize that, on a professional level, I want to ultimately use startup ecosystems in order to provide job opportunities for people across the sub-Saharan African region. On a personal level, I learned that I can survive in another country completely by myself. I learned a lot about areas in my life that need improvement and what I need to continue being awesome at so that I can be a positive and contributing global citizen.

Q: Has your experience accelerated your career prospects? If so, how? Yes, it has definitely opened up a lot of different possibilities that I may not have considered before. It's made me a little bit less afraid of stepping foot into non-profits/the business world but I still have some ways to go.

Q: What is your biggest take-away from the Sage Corps experience and what do you recommend to future Fellows? My main take-away is that life is what you make of it. Curve balls and challenges are bound to arise but it's important to keep a positive outlook and not sit idly by. I recommend giving all you've got to the startup and remembering that Sage Corps is an experience where you should aim to grow both professionally and personally! Set goals for yourself and own them!


Want to intern in Hong Kong? Check out a sample itinerary of the Semester Program here.

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