Leigh-Ann Buchanan Facing Forward“Invest in building your network. Whether you’re starting off your career or looking for internships, networking is key.”

It’s a piece of advice that proves to be true year after year – building your network is key to finding your dream internship and job upon graduation. Students with networks and internship experience especially paid internship experience, broaden their experiences and develop professional and financial skills that may not be available to them in the classroom – and it shows. In fact, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, nearly 80% of eligible interns were offered full-time positions by their employers in 2021.

On this #TalentDay, Miami Dade’s official day to celebrate South Florida’s local talent in the form of students, young alumni and employers, FIU is celebrating by highlighting the stories of outstanding Panthers around the country who started off as interns in their careers and are now set up for success because of it.
Leigh-Ann Buchanan
President, aīre ventures
Engagement Advisory Council Board Member
“Don’t be afraid to ask for advice, introductions or feedback.”

Can you tell us a little more about your current work?
I serve as the founder and president of aīre ventures, a venture studio that scales technology, entrepreneurial and social impact solutions to systemic gaps in access and opportunity. I’m also the founder of Nyah Project, a social impact organization focused on providing BIPOC youth from disadvantaged backgrounds with experiential leadership development and tech-enabled college strategy coaching. aīre ventures provides Nyah Project and its other portfolio ventures with strategic advising, positioning, platform development and operational infrastructure support to accelerate growth and impact. The aīre ventures leadership and team have successfully raised more than $4.5 million over the past five years which fueled our organic growth to serve more than 55,000 individuals, establish partnerships with more than 1,000 organizations, and facilitate more than 4,000 hours of 1:1 training and support.

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