Stop eliminating yourself from opportunities! I'm Elisabeth Tuttass, Community Coordinator at Grid110 and Elpha Community ManagerFeatured
What's your name and your current role? If you're a student, what are you studying?Hi all, my name is Elisabeth. I'm currently the Community Coordinator at Grid110, a startup accelerator in Los Angeles, where I get to support early-stage entrepreneurs through their startup journey. It's my absolute dream job! In my free time, I'm usually mingling at a women's conference, watching the latest episode of Handmaid's Tale, or connecting with the awesome women on Elpha!Where's the place of your origin?Germany is my place of origin in terms that I was born and raised there, but I moved to the US at the age of sixteen. I'm also half-Korean, so English is my third language! Two years ago, I moved to the sunny west coast of Los Angeles, California.Fun Fact: Due to having relatives all over the world and growing up with two contrasting cultures, diversity, (especially in the entrepreneurship and Venture Capital world), is close to my heart. How do you define Tech? Being in tech, to me, means being at the forefront of innovation and having the ability to shape the landscape of our future.How many years have you been in Tech? While I don't have a technical background, I have been supporting women in tech and working at tech companies in non-technical roles for the past two years. What is the one skill you find yourself using every day?Boldness! I enjoy thinking and acting outside of the box and doing things the unconventional way. For example, I'm not afraid to chat up strangers at a networking event or cold-email someone on LinkedIn. Most of the best opportunities and friendships in my life have started through connecting with people online that have then turned into IRL relationships.What's something that you've done that you're proud of?Becoming a board member of a global nonprofit at the age of 22! When I graduated with my undergraduate degree, I had my five-year plan mapped out and thought I had it all figured out. I planned to climb up the corporate ladder, and then at some point - when I had enough time and money, make some impact in the world. I saw myself as a leader someday but told myself that I didn't have enough experience to make an impact right this moment. Then one day, I woke up and thought to myself, "Why not now? Why should I wait five years to make an impact in my community?" That was the moment that I realized that leadership is a skill that you cultivate and grow, not a trait that you'll have by hitting a certain age or career milestone. Tell us about someone who has inspired you a great deal. Who was it, and how did they inspire you?Growing up half-Asian, I rarely ever saw any girls or women who looked like me. It wasn't until I was in my early twenties that I came across a woman who looked like me and did incredible work in the industry in which I aspired to work. It was the first time that I looked at someone with whom I could deeply relate and think to myself, "This is the type of woman that I want to become one day." It also wasn't until I had this experience that I realized how important diversity, mentorship, and representation is. Through some very serendipitous circumstances, we now get to work together!What do you do when you aren't working or studying?I love an excellent Korean spa for self-care purposes and also enjoy volunteering in my free time through various nonprofits that focus on supporting women.What is one piece of advice that you'd share with the Elpha community?Dream big and reach for the stars! I've seen people self-eliminate from opportunities because they think it's impossible, so they don't even try or give it a chance. There's a reason you are passionate and curious about things, and if you don't try to pursue these opportunities, the answer is always going to be no. Check out Sara Blakely's views on redefining failure - it inspired me to think differently about fearlessly going after opportunities, regardless of the outcome.A more practical piece of advice is to join a nonprofit! Joining a nonprofit has provided me with so many leadership skills throughout my early career, all while getting to make an impact in my local community. I've found the experience incredibly rewarding and would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking to grow professionally or personally.