Meet the Team: Arianna Arienzo

Q&A with Silicon Foundry’s FullBright Intern

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Arianna Arienzo is the latest team member to join Silicon Foundry. She hails from Italy and has worked and traveled internationally as a business consultant. She is now interning at Silicon Foundry for the conclusion to her Fulbright Fellowship program on Entrepreneurship & Innovation in Silicon Valley.

As a Fulbright Fellow from Italy, you have a very unique path to Foundry — can you tell us a bit about your background and how you ended up choosing to work for Foundry?

Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to study and work in Italy, my home country, as well as Australia, Spain, Ecuador and the U.S. I have always challenged myself to go outside of my comfort zone, and I realized that working abroad was one of the best learning experiences I could be exposed to.

After getting an MS in Business Administration and graduating with honors, I began working for Accenture. My goal was to learn to manage many types of projects within different industries. Throughout my time at Accenture, I worked on several different projects involving blockchain, AI, cyber security, GDPR, sustainability and social impact.

Following Accenture, I decided to challenge myself again and apply to the Fulbright Best Program. I made it through the rigorous selection process and dove into Silicon Valley to learn more about corporate innovation and emerging technologies. After interviewing for many interesting opportunities, I chose to work at Silicon Foundry because I was intrigued by the concept of a Silicon Valley-based advisory firm focusing on corporate innovation and driving actionable outcomes for its Members.

Before meeting this team, I didn’t realize how much power a united and collaborative team could have. It is exactly the type of group I imagined myself working with. The Foundry team has taught me a lot as it relates to teamwork and leadership, and whatever I pursue in the future I am thankful for my experience at Foundry. I hope that one day I can build a similar team of rockstars!

Beyond your work at Foundry, what are your main goals for the course of your fellowship and time in Silicon Valley?

The Fulbright Best Program aims to forge the most innovative young entrepreneurs. My goals are to learn as much as possible about the Silicon Valley ecosystem (venture capital, PE, family offices, corporate innovation, etc.) and to grow my network.

During the first month of the program, I attended a “startup school” to learn about building a concept from the ground up. I have found that having both corporate and startup experience has been incredibly helpful for my work at Foundry.

Given your international background, are there any ways in which you think your perspective on innovation and transformation is different or unique?

I think the hardest challenge I’ve faced has been working on innovation in a developing country, such as Ecuador. Trying to promote innovation in a complicated ecosystem improved my ability to think outside the box and find alternative ways to reach our goals. As a result, my perspective on innovation and transformation is quite unique, and I believe that helps me bring creativity and passion to my work in an impactful way.

What “superpower” do you bring to the team?

My superpower is bringing the best out of everyone I meet and building long-term relationships. I want to create an environment where people can be the best version of themselves. I want to create a place where people are comfortable sharing and working together to grow and achieve their goals. I think this is helpful in Silicon Valley because it’s a place where being able to build and manage relationships is critical to success.

I have also had to reinvent myself several times when facing new work challenges, new languages and new cultural barriers. This taught me not to be afraid of change, but rather to embrace it. It has strengthened my creativity and ability to solve problems.

What sector or industry trend are you most fascinated by at the moment?

Above all industries, I would say technology. I am fascinated by how innovation and technology horizontally impact so many industries. Some of the specific sectors I find most fascinating are food, sustainability, fashion, healthcare and mobility.

Silicon Foundry is an innovation advisory platform that builds bridges between leading multi-national corporations and global startup ecosystems.

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