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Jocelyn Robertson - CFO At Women Founders

Product Marketing Advisor | Board Member at Women Founders



Ruhi Ladwa #GirlPowerUnleashed in Conversation with Jocelyn Robertson



Ruhi Ladwa


Hello, and welcome to the girl power on this podcast today I am with Jocelyn Robertson. Hi, Jocelyn. Thank you for taking the time to be on the girl power unleashed podcast! To start off, tell us about yourself and your journey so far.


Jocelyn Robertson


Yeah, absolutely! Well, thank you so much for having me on today. So just a brief background about myself. I'm originally from the Northern Virginia area just south of DC. But when I was a sophomore in high school, I moved to Columbus, Ohio, I graduated from Columbus City Schools, and then went to Ohio State and studied marketing, with a minor in music business, and throughout that time that I was there, I was involved in quite a few different things. Namely, one program called Management Leadership for Tomorrow, which was a career prep program that brought me to my current role here at Dell.


In addition to that, I was also a part of a program called Global Leadership Initiative, which was a program that existed to bridge the gap between international and domestic students. So those were kind of my main things. But I also was very involved in diversity and inclusion initiatives, very involved in the business school, and then worked a bunch of different jobs on the side, interned at Chick fil A corporate as well. So lots of lots of different roles that I played, but primarily D&I global leadership, and then today, I am currently in Austin, Texas, and I work for Dell Technologies, doing product marketing, as well as sit on the board for a nonprofit called women founders.


Ruhi Ladwa


What are the most interesting things you were working on? And how will that empower women?


Jocelyn Robertson


Yes, okay. Great, great segue. So I am currently sitting on the board, as I mentioned, for a nonprofit called women founders. Women founders is an organization that started at Ohio State by my dear friend Apoorva Mikela. And so she started it, just as she saw a gap of women in the entrepreneurship and innovation space, there wasn't a community for women, there weren't a lot of women that looked like her. And so she started the organization on campus. And then in 2020, she decided, we want to launch this into a nonprofit.


So that's when she brought me on board. And for the first couple of years, we were trying to understand what our operations will look like, what will programming look like? And how are we going to differentiate ourselves to be a true resource for women in the entrepreneurship and innovation space. So this year, actually, we started expanding into multiple other universities. We now officially have cohorts all across the country, with our most recent being at our first Ivy League, University of Pennsylvania. And then, we are also planning on launching professional cohorts all across the country, we just brought on two new ladies onto the board of directors who are based out of Nashville, and then the others based out of LA. So we're all over the place now, and then we will also be launching a micro grant fund in November with a pitch competition and so baseline there as minimum $5,000 to give away, so currently, we're working on acquiring that funding. And ideally, all of this, in the end, will empower women to hold more equity in their ventures, have the capital to start their ventures, and then have the ability to be financially free and to financially support

themselves.



Ruhi Ladwa


What were the obstacles, you had to overcome any specific learnings from them?


Jocelyn Robertson


Yes. So I could come at this from a few different angles. So I can talk about obstacles within women founders and acquiring funding and that sort of thing. But that's kind of the boring stuff. So I'll give you kind of within my own career, like being at Dell, being a part of women founders. I also train jiu jitsu pretty frequently throughout the week, which is also a male dominated sport. And more often than not, it's a male dominated room when I am in the room. I really think that the biggest obstacles that I've had to overcome are one, my own internal self speak. So there's a lot of I don't belong here kind of impostor syndrome. I'm in a position where, I'm driving millions of dollars of revenue quarterly, right here at Dell, I'm in a position where women founders were, quite literally the funding of the organization is on my shoulders. And, and so there's a lot of times where I don't feel like I have the ability to do the things that I do and even in the jiu jitsu space. I've only been training for a year and a half.


So there's times where I feel like I don't have the ability to do what I need to do or what I am currently doing. And so that's been a big obstacle. But there's been a lot of learning. Through reading, through learning about myself, spending time by myself, going to therapy, and understanding well, I do deserve to be here, because I am here. Somebody saw potential in me and brought me here. And so that's been a big obstacle. But then, you know, outside of that, it's also been, let's be honest, external factors outside of, my internal self speak. So there are things that are happening on a day to day basis within our society, as we know, that hinder women from moving forward, whether it's your a B word for speaking up and and being strong and having a louder opinion? Or it's that you don't know, because you're a woman, and this is a male dominated space. It's assumed that the man knows what's going on? And I don't, So things like that. But I think being able to rework that internal self speak has helped with the obstacles.


Ruhi Ladwa


What is your secret to success? Are there a few key qualities that helped you attain success?


Jocelyn Robertson


Oh, the secret to success. So I'm sure everybody has their own different recipe. But the biggest one, for me, at least in my undergrad experience, and coming up through high school, and college, has been trying everything. If you're interested in it, try it. Worst thing that happens is you hate it, and you just don't do it again. But you'll never know what doors are unlocked. When you go to do that. So try anything and everything and make connections. And if, whatever it is that you're trying, make sure you stay connected with those people, because you never know where that can lead you in the future. Then the second is always, always, always seek to learn more.


I've never heard of anybody who has too much knowledge. There might be someone who has too little of knowledge. But there's nobody out there that has too much of knowledge. So as long as you're actively seeking to do better to learn more, I think that's the biggest thing, and then the second thing is your network. So there's that old cheesy saying of like, your network is your net worth, and it is true, it is very, very true, I can say that the current role that I'm in now is because of the fact that I had a personal relationship with somebody, and they liked me, they liked my personal brand. And they wanted to introduce me to somebody else. So that's a big thing. Making sure that you are networking and securing those relationships so that later on down the line, it's mutually beneficial for the both of you.


Ruhi Ladwa


What would you tell girls who want to become the next generation of leaders?


Jocelyn Robertson


Okay, so this one is a big one, because I think there's so many things that I would want to tell young women who are on the come up. Biggest thing is, find whatever it is deep down inside of you that makes you believe in you. Because there have been many instances in my life, family situations, where I felt like, I'm the only one right now that believes in me. And so I just had to go and do it. So what is it that drives you so that you can continue being consistent? Then second to that is, the world is quite literally your oyster. Another cheesy saying, right? But it's true. It really is. I know everybody has different barriers to entry to resources. But if you can at least find that one resource that you know will give you the leg up, go for it, go find it. Utilize public resources. The library has all kinds of fun resources and organizations that you can get involved in. Get involved in your community, whatever it is, go find that resource and latch on to it. And that'll bring you even further to give you that drive and consistency.


Ruhi Ladwa


Well Jocelyn, thank you so much for taking the time to be on the podcast. I'm sure our listeners learn something very valuable. Thank you so much!


Jocelyn Robertson


Thank you!


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