Meet Sommer Motley, biomedical engineering student and dedicated instructional aide at the Center for Entrepreneurship. Completing a BSE in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Michigan, she just finished her MSE in Biomedical Engineering with a specialization in Advanced Medical Product Engineering and Development. Along the way, she found the CFE, changing the course of her career trajectory in a flash of inspiration and innovation.

Sommer’s foray into entrepreneurship began with a game-changing internship during her undergrad years. “Following a company internship I had after my second year of undergrad, I realized that I knew little about business and how products came to market,” Sommer recalls. This lightbulb moment ignited her curiosity to explore the relationship between engineering and entrepreneurship.

Sommer’s discovery of the CFE was nothing short of serendipitous. “I remember browsing the course catalog for interesting engineering classes that talked about business and leadership aspects, when I stumbled upon ENTR courses!” she reminisces. 

Eager to bridge the gap between technical prowess and business knowledge, Sommer found her way to ENTR 407, affectionately known as EHour. The course features CEOs, innovators, and entrepreneurial game-changers as they delve into their entrepreneurial journeys. “EHour opened my eyes not only to the business side of engineering and leadership skills, but also practical professional knowledge,” she explains.

Upon finishing the EHour course, Sommer found herself  hooked on entrepreneurship. She soon became a beloved instructional aide at the CFE, allowing her to gain a deeper understanding of entrepreneurship and play a role in instilling the entrepreneurial spirit in her fellow students. While pursuing her advanced degree, Sommer enrolled in the CFE’s Innovation for Impact: Defense and Security, a winter semester project-based course collaborating on DoD innovation.

Being part of the CFE community has been transformative for Sommer. “Being a student in the CFE has allowed me to develop a passion for project management and how to bring a vision to life through actionable steps,” she reveals. 

Always looking for opportunities to learn and grow, she’s also discovered a passion for networking. “As part of teaching teams, I practiced how to connect with different people across different interests and industries. Having lunch or a zoom call with top industry leaders was daunting, but extremely educational and formative,” she recalls.

Looking ahead, Sommer is poised for a remarkable career journey. “After graduation this May, I will be working at Stryker in clinical research,” she announces. Her aspirations include making an impact in governmental organizations like the FDA or Department of Defense.

For undergraduate students eyeing entrepreneurship or the CFE, Sommer offers some wise words of advice: “Starting something new and outside of your comfort zone can feel very daunting, but the CFE creates a safe space for you to experiment with your interests and skills.” 

Sommer Motley’s story exemplifies the transformative power of seizing opportunities and embracing the journey towards innovation and entrepreneurship.

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