Emily McDonough: The Power of Community | The Garage Group

Emily McDonough: The Power of Community

We’re so excited to welcome Emily McDonough to the team as our Growth Hacker Intern! Emily is a powerful and thoughtful storyteller, infusing creativity into everything she touches. She is a third-year marketing student at the University of Cincinnati and President of Lindner Women in Business, a Lindner College of Business Diversity and Inclusion Program. Learn more about her and check out her perspective on women in the business industry and how powerful communities can be:

I have been called weak because of my small stature and bossy because of my ambitious goals as a woman in business. Nonetheless, each inaccurate label pushes me to be authentic, courageous, and persistent in order to reveal the true label underneath.

My business career is a mere three years old, and I have already witnessed and personally experienced the extent to which others underestimate women in the industry. I am fueled by these inaccurate labels, but I should not have the option to be fueled by them. Women should be more focused on proving that they deserve the corner office, rather than a seat at the table.

So, I built up a community on the University of Cincinnati’s campus called Lindner Women in Business, a 130-member Lindner College of Business Diversity and Inclusion Program that strives to prepare emerging leaders for future endeavors by providing allies, perspective, and resources. Luckily, I am not the only person who has created a community of females and advocates. These communities exist around the globe, and if you have not subscribed, joined, or invested in them, you are missing out. Here are a few of my favorites:

The Wing

Located in cities across the country, The Wing are multi-purpose spaces built by women, for women, with the goal of creating opportunities to collaborate, network, and grow with one another. As a result of these spaces, a community of members, local partners and non-profit organizations is being cultivated that, together, is developing programming, volunteer opportunities, and initiatives dedicated to the advancement of women in our greater community. The Wing is clearly giving women (and, in turn, men) what they want and need, as its leadership team recently raised $75 million to continue expanding and hopefully shorten its 8,000-person waitlist.


On the surface, Glossier is a direct B2C skincare and makeup brand. But, if you dig deeper, it is a direct B2C skincare and makeup brand that has revolutionized the beauty industry through its simple and modern message: skincare and makeup products should be used to highlight natural features, rather than conceal them. This message attracts millions of women and men, whose skin and confidence had been in hiding, to Glossier, a brand name synonymous for a community that empowers one another, and, in the process, revolts against the beauty industry. The community has grown to be so powerful that if Glossier went bankrupt, the community would still stand.

Hillman Accelerator

Candice Matthews, Executive Director of Hillman Accelerator, boldly stated, “We don’t think there’s a pipeline problem. There’s no shortage of teams being formed by minority or women founders with great ideas. We think the problem lies in these teams’ accessing a community or support system to move their ideas forward.” Located down the street from The Garage Group in Cincinnati, Hillman Accelerator serves as the community that provides underrepresented entrepreneurs with access to education, seed funding, mentorship, and network. As a TGG team member, I am proud to work at a company that finds initiatives, like Hillman Accelerator, and backs them because we need more communities supporting those underrepresented.

A community can be incredibly powerful. When I walked into The Garage Group on the first day of my internship, I felt the incredible power of a community — a community fueled by authenticity, courage, and persistence. At TGG, the power comes alive when we build on others’ ideas. It comes alive when we don’t underestimate one another. Most often, it comes alive when we work together with a shared level of passion and grit, defying any inaccurate label that has been placed upon TGG.

I have never been more proud to be labeled The Garage Group intern.


The Garage Group’s community is expanding this summer with new innovation and growth strategy interns. Click here to learn more about the positions and apply.

Explore More