Risa Takenaka

Class of 2019-2020

Providence College, 2019
Applied Physics

Why I chose ESTEEM:

I chose ESTEEM because I felt that this program would allow me to combine my analytical skills and my passion for social justice within the framework of entrepreneurship. I am drawn to the interdisciplinary nature of this program, and I believe that this environment will help me fulfill my potential as a problem solver.

My capstone project and why I am excited about it:

For my founder’s project, I am diving into the world of analyzing unstructured data. My objective is to create a consulting firm that helps businesses and other enterprises solve their problems by analyzing relevant data on Twitter. I plan to do this by using the technologies of web scraping and natural language processing. First, I will be scraping Twitter to refine a dataset of relevant tweets that reflect the experiences of the stakeholders and customers of my client business. Then, I will perform a sentiment analysis to better understand what these groups are saying about the issue at hand. Finally, as a consulting service, I will use this extracted information to develop an actionable plan to mitigate the issue, and I will help my client business implement this solution.

My inspiration for this project actually came from my undergraduate experience, where I realized that the issues which negatively impact students of color are often not addressed as efficiently as possible. While thinking of ways for offices of diversity and inclusion to expedite this process rather than waiting a year to analyze the results of campus climate surveys, I landed at the idea of using the wealth of data about student experiences that exists on social media.

I am excited to bring this idea to fruition throughout the year, and I can’t wait to improve my coding skills along the way!

What I hope to do after ESTEEM:

When I grow up, (haha) I want to be a social entrepreneur. I also really want to work in Tokyo to be close to my extended family.

What I like to do when I’m not working:

Cooking, baking, eating, and any activity related to food. I also love spending time with my incredibly fun classmates. Finally, I enjoy playing tennis with Anshul, Will, and Chuck because they unfortunately kick my butt in every other sport.