HAESF alumna cultivates the next generation of female business leaders
In 2015, Anna Tóth traveled to Savannah as an intern through the Hungarian-American Enterprise Scholarship Fund (HAESF). There, she gained valuable experience at the startup engine Creative Coast. Anna has a master's degree in public relations and advertising from Corvinus University. Now back in Hungary, she works as a Business Development Manager at Reliable Education in Budapest. Outside of work, she co-founded The Millennial Women Network, an international network of young women. We interviewed Anna via email.
What did you learn during your year in the United States that has helped you to succeed in your career?
During my year in the United States I gained invaluable leadership skills and built long-lasting transatlantic relationships. Today, I'm still in touch with many people I met in the US - my host, my co-workers, members of the community and my friends. These relationships mean a continuous inspiration for me to grow and make an impact in Hungary.
I always wanted to create a non-profit organization that could help raise living standards in Hungary. During my internship in the United States I realized that creating a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem could be the key to reach this goal. During my internship I was responsible for organizing Startup Lounge, an event that brings together entrepreneurs and investors. This experience helped me create a vibrant entrepreneurial community with in Budapest.
At 6:20 Chili Nights we help entrepreneurs create new professional connections and get real-time feedback about their businesses. In the last two years, we have hosted 60+ entrepreneurs and created a community of 450+ members from 7 countries. Our mission is to create a thriving and supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem in Hungary and in the region.
Tell us more about the Millennial Women Network.
I co-founded the Millennial Women Network after returning home to Hungary after my internship. Our mission is to empower young women to become to leaders of the future. As a young woman myself, I realized that there's a lack of available resources for Generation Y women leaders to learn leadership skills, access networks and mentorship. That's why I have co-founded MWN. With my co-founders, Nora Sarkady and Bea Wray, we have created a global online community and we share inspiring stories of successful young women from around the world. We have also launched a mentorship program. We have 100+ members from 24 countries.
What is your advice to someone considering a J-1 internship program?
Without my J-1 internship I couldn't have launched an organization that helps entrepreneurs grow their businesses. I truly believe that J-1 programs can empower people from all over the world to have the confidence, the necessary skills and networks to create real change and make the world a better place.