Five Questions For … Houston Angel Network Chief Juliana Garaizar
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me to try to select entrepreneurs out of the 50 that applied to the program. We selected five amazing women entrepreneurs that have the opportunity to pitch to 700 angel investors. It was an amazing experience. I brought my family over to travel around Chile and then we went to Easter Island. My son turned 6 during that trip. He said it was the best birthday ever. Whenever he is not at school, he would like to travel. We are [raising] another explorer.
X: If you could go back in time and get five minutes with any major historical figure, who would it be, and what would you want to say to them?
JG: Marie Curie, the first woman to have the Nobel prize, and actually, she has two. What she achieved was pretty incredible. What I’d like to know is, first of all, how the relationship with her husband worked, how they were able to work together. She was … included in the first Nobel prize they shared. I’m very curious about that relationship, just because sometimes I would like to apply some of that with my husband, and make sure we promote each other as much as we can. And I would tell her to protect herself from all the radiation so we could have Marie Curie for longer.
I have quite a few women in science friends in France. It’s pretty crazy how they are still dealing with a lot of issues just because they are women and not given the same chances as men. That’s the thing—I’m pretty surprised at how far she got given the time was much more difficult, and how she was able to publish all her work as soon as it was discovered. That was essential to be [given credit], to put her name on all the discoveries that otherwise would have been claimed by men, most probably.
X: What career advice do you give to new college graduates?
JG: I would say be careful about money over passion. I guess when you finish college you just want to make sure you have a good-paying job and can repay all your loans. And I guess you need to have [a big company] on your CV to get some credibility and learn how they do things.
I was pretty miserable at my job at Citigroup. I ended up hating it. It was more politics involved than real work and impact. I realized corporations were not for me. I know that I would have been happier if I had discovered that earlier on. I think that many college graduates and students decided what college to pick and are looking to how much money they could make as to what they think the idea of success is. My granddad was my role model so I went to banking … but I was miserable. Learning who you are, and not getting caught up in success because of what others think is success is important. You need to figure out what works for you and that takes a lot of self-awareness.