With interests in
Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital, Career Readiness, Private Equity
Portraits by ChiChi Ubina
Produced by Maya Hurst
Lived in Fairfield County: 14 years
High school: Greenwich Academy 2021
Favorite song as a child: “The Dog Days are Over” by Florence and the Machine
Favorite book from school: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Diner order: Eggs Benedict or Huevos Rancheros (specifically from the Stamford Diner)
Favorite phone app: TikTok and Instagram Reels
Kayla Rocha is a rising junior at the University of Southern California, where she majors in business administration with a minor in cinematic arts. Kayla was recruited for her current position at Stone Point Capital in April of 2023 through Live Girl’s SHE WORKS career readiness and internship program. Kayla explained the process and the rounds of interviews she went through in order to determine which path would be the best fit for her and her goals.
Kayla shared that she is truly enjoying and thriving as a financial intern with Stone Point and expressed that she is grateful to her mentors who pushed her toward the opportunity. Kayla additionally shared how the SHE WORKS career readiness training has given her further perspective on what she is working towards, what her future career path can look like, and how she can show up and make herself a part of these professional spaces.
During a typical day at the firm, Kayla attends various meetings and training sessions, working closely with the three other members of the finance team. She is additionally assigned tasks to complete each day. This summer, Kayla is living at home in Fairfield County, working at the Greenwich office Monday through Thursday and commuting to the Stone Point New York City office on Fridays.
“I was nervous to start this job… I was having some imposter syndrome. However, this experience has proved to me that I can show up, be myself, and be respected by my coworkers and supervisors. Beyond that, I can find specific aspects that I enjoy within the larger space — it’s so easy to look at ‘business’ and that everyone’s doing the same thing, but there are just so many other paths [within business] to take.”
During high school, Kayla worked as an intern with Valisure, a pharmaceutical company that tests medications and conducts product trials. During her sophomore year of college, Kayla worked on the production team of USC Comedy Live. She described this experience as somewhat similar to running a business due to the abundance of moving parts that are involved.
“It made me realize that my two areas of study [business administration and cinematic arts] are more related than I thought.”
Since 2020, Kayla has also worked as a research analyst intern with her mother’s venture capital firm, Realist Ventures.
Lived in Fairfield County: 21 years
High school: Brunswick School 2021
Favorite song as a child: “Mr. Blue Sky” by Electric Light Orchestra
Favorite book from school: The Ones who Walk Away, from Omelas by Ursula K. le Guin
Diner order: An omelette with peppers, spinach, onions, and mozzarella cheese
Favorite phone game: Candy Crush
This summer, Noah is working in multiple positions as well as focusing his own entrepreneurial venture. He describes himself as having a diverse range of interests:
“I’ve never been the typical ‘when I grow up I want to be this’ type of person, I’ve always wanted to be exposed to a lot of different fields.”
In pursuit of this, Noah is now living between Philadelphia and New York City, working as an intern for both iTolerance —a regenerative medicine company— and Gaingels —a venture capital firm— all while fine tuning Percussion, his own startup. Through each of these opportunities, Noah has been able to engage with each of his passions in entrepreneurship, social impact, business, and biotechnology.
During his senior year at Brunswick, Noah conducted an independent research project during which he looked into alternative methods of treating sinus infections. The result of this project was the birth of Percussion, a medical device that uses non-invasive, non-antibiotic methods to treat sinus infections and seasonal allergies. In the past couple of years, Noah has conducted research, created prototypes, and raised money; Percussion is currently patent-pending, with his next steps revolving around legal filing, consumer testing, and further engineering. Through his work on this device, Noah has realized the importance of being problem-oriented, adaptive, and responsive to customer needs.
Noah began his six-month business consultant internship with iTolerance back in March, a few months after he initially applied for the position after hearing of it through a mutual connection. iTolerance is a regenerative medicine company that creates cell therapies to treat various illnesses and conditions. In June, Noah also began working with Gaingels, a venture capital firm that specializes in investing in companies that have a mission of promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion and whose founders are generally ethnically or gender diverse.
Noah’s typical day begins around 7am, when he will wake up and work out. He will then get to the office (or his desk when he is working remotely) between 8:45 and 9am; he works for Gaingels until around 5 or 6pm. Once his day at the venture capital firm is complete, Noah will spend the evening working on projects for iTolerance and Percussion. Most of his day-to-day responsibilities at Gaingels include sitting in on meetings, listening to startup pitches, and working on his own projects in fields such as data analytics and investment operations. At iTolerance, Noah is more focused on restructuring the business plan and meeting with different parts of the executive board to understand their progress in different fields. He additionally meets with the CEO each week, whom Noah describes as a fantastic mentor.
Noah explained that through his work with iTolerance, he has realized the importance of not being afraid to reach out to learn from others — while Noah has a strong background in entrepreneurship and consulting, he does not have as much experience in biology and therefore has spent much of his time playing “catch-up” by meeting with his coworkers outside of working hours to gain a better understanding of the scientific fundamentals. At Gaingels, Noah has truly enjoyed the element of social impact that is at the core of their mission; while he has always been interested in venture capital, he’s really appreciated how Gaingels is both committed to earning money as well as making a positive change and increasing inclusivity in the field.