In November 2022, we interviewed Danny Castillo (he/him), 2-time Emerging Leaders intern and recent graduate at University of Oregon with a degree in Business Administration and Cinema Studies.
ELI: What attracted you to ELI, and how have you benefited from the experience?
Danny: What attracted me about ELI is their initiatives towards changing how the post-graduation world looks like for first generation students. Many first generation students don’t have the resources, network, or experience to transition successfully from students to professionals. ELI fills in this gap by providing students paid internship experiences and access to a network of business professionals in the Portland metropolitan area. They provide equitable opportunities for disadvantaged students, giving them equal access as their counterparts with access to these things.
ELI: What comes to mind when you think of the culture of ELI?
Danny: Whenever I think about the ELI culture, I think about empowerment. ELI constantly wants to see all students succeed in their careers, and provides all the resources to ensure that students can become self advocates once they enter the workforce.
“Whenever I think about the ELI culture, I think about empowerment.”
ELI: What’s your biggest ELI takeaway?
Danny: My biggest takeaway is having real life practice in the business world. Whether it’s networking, negotiating salaries, or creating elevator pitches, ELI teaches you fundamentals that are often not taught in business schools.
ELI: How likely are you to recommend ELI to your colleagues/peers for the next cycle?
Danny: 10/10 experience. Even if you’re not offered an internship, you learn a lot through the application process and feel more prepared when other opportunities come around.