Thriving in an Entrepreneurial Community

Maddy Leger, E’18, computer engineering, sought out the Sherman Center for Engineering Entrepreneurship Education’s Generate program—a student-led product development studio—to acquire more experience in program management.

At the suggestion of a friend, Leger joined as a project lead working with an all-volunteer student staff that helps students, alumni, and staff develop products and startup ventures. Supported by client and alumni mentors, Leger successfully led a team that developed “Trailtag,” a GPS tracking device for deep wilderness tracking that works without a cellphone. “The experience appealed to me because it was truly entrepreneurial. We started with creative ideas, and worked through the development process, while having an end goal of a nice, finished product,” she explains.

Leger then took the reins as Generate’s student executive director, making many contributions to the program while gaining valuable business and leadership skills.

“Career-wise, leading Generate has been a huge help,” she says, “and community is a big part of it. The professional network you build working with fun, smart, innovative and inventive people is amazing. It’s also rewarding personally seeing other students step up and succeed though this experience.”

Leger will join Microsoft’s Cambridge, Massachusetts office as a program manager when she graduates. She believes the leadership and collaborative skills she gained through Generate will help her immeasurably. “All of this builds your confidence and skills,” she says. “And if I ever want to start a new business, the Sherman Center has prepared me well.”