Mentors and Workplaces

An Inspiring Workplace For Boston’s Entrepreneurial Community

Cartoon Wallpaper, A Swinging Work Table and Free Beer

Does that sound like the sedate office spaces of the past? This past summer, we were welcomed for an on- site visit to We Work, a coworking office space in Boston and site of Travis, our marketing intern.
Continue reading “An Inspiring Workplace For Boston’s Entrepreneurial Community”

Best Mentor in History!

At Internship Connection, we seek out mentors who take a genuine interest in each student. After speaking to Claire Varner, the Chief Academic Officer of HSTRY, https://www.hstry.co/ an exciting startup related to education, Dr. Jabbawy felt that her heartfelt enthusiasm to mentor students as well as her company’s mission related to education would lead to a great internship experience.
Continue reading “Best Mentor in History!”

An Inspiring Internship at PayPal’s Boston Headquarters

PayPal's Boston Headquarters

 

Are you thinking about a college internship in Boston? What could be more exciting than a summer internship in Boston at the ultra modern PayPal headquarters? Harrison, a student at Babson College, told us about his interest of interning at a startup, so we established an internship for him at an exciting company in PayPal’s business incubator, Start Tank, which offers entrepreneurs free office space in downtown Boston, along with seminars and mentorship from PayPal employees.

 

Harrison had a very successful interview on a Friday and went to work immediately on Monday! At Cylent Systems, he interned for the two founders, seasoned entrepreneurs who sold their last company to IBM. Cylent Systems is a high tech startup that delivers automatic real-time disruption of cyber attacks and a 24×7 response service to businesses and organizations.

 

 

Working at PayPal

PayPal's Boston Headquarters

 

Harrison: “I’ve enjoyed working with my mentors Mike and Jack, as well as all of the other founders at Start Tank. Everyone that I have met has been very friendly and my mentors have acted more like teachers than bosses. To best describe the environment at the Start Tank it would be similar to a giant library with small study groups working on their own projects.

 

I’ve vastly enjoyed the work I have done, which has included researching similar companies’ strategies and creating lists of potential clients to contact. I have also researched competitors. That research included their fundraising, financial statistics, revenue and all demographics. I have been able to sit in on meetings with design partners and clients who will be testing our beta product. I have found the work very meaningful and I have also learned a great deal about computer security and hacking.”

 

 

Lunch with My Bosses

Harrison, Cylent Systems Internship
Harrison, Internship Connection Intern with Michael Duffy, Founder and CEO of Cylent Systems

“My favorite part of the internship was being able to go out to lunch everyday with both of my bosses. It has allowed me to get to know both of them on more of a personal level and I have been able to ask questions about starting a business, something that I tentatively plan to do when I’m out of college. It’s also been great because I have been able to try a lot of really great restaurants close to us, and because of that I’m a huge fan of Thai food.”

 

 

Lessons about Speaking Up

 

“One time I was sitting in on a meeting with the engineers. I by no means have any kind of knowledge about computers or programming so while I felt a bit timid, I kept asking  questions about the software. This turned out to be helpful because I better grasped the concept of how anti-virus software works and in turn I acted as a potential client where the engineers on the team had the opportunity to explain the software on a less advanced level. I learned that it’s certainly better to ask questions rather than pretending you know the answer.

 

Internship Consultation Free

Startup Internships: Are You Ready To Join One Of These Exciting Companies?

 

What could be more exciting than interning at a really cool company with really bright young employees?  If you are a fan of Twitter, SnapChat or Vine or watch pitches on Shark Tank, you may have what it takes to join an exciting startup in Boston.

 

 

Exciting Startup Internship

 

A startup summer internship would give you experience in the tech world, at a business accelerator where early-stage entrepreneurs are supported by a variety of resources and networking events. In these companies, dozens of creative young people build exciting businesses. Everything from Fashion, Sports, Health Care/Life Sciences, Social Impact, Energy/Clean Tech, Education and more.

 

Internship Connection places dozens of students every summer in exciting startup internships. Fancred, CoachUp, HerCampus, Wayfair, Great Point Energy, Bow and Drape are just a few startups that have taken our students as summer interns.

 

Once immersed in these exciting environments, students often learn about and attend seminars and networking events in the Boston startup community. Pictured are CEO’s on a panel at Harvard Business School, speaking about their experiences building their own companies. The featured speaker that day was Travis Kalanick, the CEO of Uber.

 

Entrepreneurs

 

 

Startup Internship Panel

 

 

 

Recognizing the Value: Visiting Our Students During Their Internships

Carole and Hannah
Dr. Jabbawy visiting Hannah at work

 

One of the most rewarding components of our program is the on-site visits to our students. Their worksites include everything from tall high rises in the financial district, quaint brick buildings on the Boston waterfront to high tech business accelerators in Back Bay, Kendall Square and Downtown Crossing.

 

 

Fort Point
Fort Point Waterfront offices

 

Parents often tell us that getting dressed up and learning how to commute to work is just as exciting and important as the internship itself. Our students commute in various ways. Some take the subway, others combine driving and taking the train, while some have taken the commuter boat from both the South and North Shore.

 

 

International Place
One International Place

 

During the visit, it’s wonderful to meet the student’s mentors and very often we get a tour of their offices.  The visit also provides the opportunity to sit down privately with each student to discuss their journal responses, talk about how things are going and what they are learning. It’s always amazing to see how students have grown and matured since our initial meeting with them as they gain experience and confidence on the job.

 

Lobby LearnLaunch
Back Bay Business Incubator

 

 

Surprises Await When You Interview Your Workplace Mentor

Interview Your Workplace Mentor Brings Surprise

 

In our School-to-Career program, we encourage our students to interview a key person at work. Students tell us that this experience is one of the highlights of their summer experience. Whether you are on an internship or just starting your first job, interviewing a mentor can be a very beneficial exercise.

 

                                    How do you define success?

              What are 3 characteristics you think are necessary for success?

 

We have found that the answer to these questions lead to the biggest surprises.  Students are surprised to learn that rather than mentioning monetary success, mentors often speak about  success in terms of their volunteer work in the community or their family life at home.

 

10 questions that our students have found helpful when interviewing their mentors:

1. How did you decide to work in this field?

 

2. What or who influenced you in this career direction?

 

3. Does your work require special training? If so, what kind and how much?

 

4. Is this your first and only career? If not, what else have you done?

 

5. How do you define success? What are 3 characteristics you think are necessary for success?

 

6. Tell me about a career high point and a career low point.

 

7. Do you have any advice for someone interested in this field?

 

8. What course of study do you recommend in college?

 

9. Do you have any professional role models?

 

10. What changes do you foresee happening in this profession?

 

Internship Consultation Free

9 Shark Tank Start Up Lessons You Might Learn This Summer

Shark Tank T.V. Show

 

Have you ever wondered how the aspiring entrepreneurs on Shark Tank develop business pitches to investors?

 

Would you like to catch a glimpse of how guys like Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook? 

 

There are over 450 companies in Kendall Square, Cambridge, over 200 startups in the Boston Innovation District on the waterfront and over 100 in Boston’s Downtown Crossing. You too, can get involved in this exciting way of life.

 

Some of our most fascinating Boston internships for the last 3 years have been at some of these companies. Here are some of the things you might learn:

 

–         What does it take to come up with a business idea?

–         What goes into an effective pitch?

–         Who funds startup companies?

–         Which are some of the most successful startups in Boston?

–         Where are some of the hundreds of networking events (called meetups by techies) in Boston and Cambridge?

–         What is a co-working space?

–         What are the more well-known business incubators in Boston?

–         What does each day look like at a startup?

–         What are some of the roles individuals play at these companies?

 

 

Whether you are a high school or college student, our business mentors will give you a rarified glimpse into this exceptional community of entrepreneurs.  

A sampling of our mentor companies

Internship Consultation Free

 

 

Case Study: Camila and Claudia from Puerto Rico

Camilla and Claudia Gonzalez with CEO Melanie Berger of Mariwear

The Introduction

 

It was so interesting to Skype with Camila and Claudia Gonzalez and their parents. The family had been referred to the Internship Connection Program for Entrepreneurship by Babson College. The girls are twin sisters, coming from a private school in Guaynabo, P.R., who had been accepted to Babson as January freshman. “J-frosh” is the term that students often use.

 

Starting college during spring semester is quite common at many universities across the U.S. The reason behind this is that colleges would like to accept many more qualified students, but cannot accommodate them because of insufficient housing. Additional dorm rooms become available when juniors go abroad during their spring semester.

 

I have often worked with January freshman, establishing Boston internships for them for the fall semester. Not only can they enjoy an internship matched to their intended academic majors, but they are able to get a jump start on their peers, becoming familiar with the city, it’s transportation system, restaurants and cultural highlights.

 

The process begins: Housing

 

Once I knew that the girls wanted to live and work together, I starting researching housing for them that would be comfortable and close to transportation.  Additionally, I wanted to find a mentor who would take a true personal interest in the girls. Coming to the U.S. to a new city at age 17, is not something to take lightly. As director of this program, I feel deeply that my role is not only to provide the best educational experience but to be protective of our students as well.

 

Placing students in our program is much more complicated than many people realize. I must consider their career interests, their safety, their mode of transportation, their schedules, etc. For the girls and their parents, I emailed photos from several types of housing options. They chose an upscale, short-term stay hotel in Copley Square. It would be just a quick subway ride for them to the Boston Waterfront where over 150 start-up companies would likely be the most interesting and exciting internship sites for the girls.

 

Choosing the best company and mentor

mariwear logo

 

During my research and drawing from our program’s large network of business connections, I focused on the girls’ interest in both entrepreneurship and fashion. In the past, I’ve placed many students at MassChallenge, an annual global accelerator program and startup competition that provides free office space for finalists and organizes training and networking events. It’s a competetion that awards 1 million dollars to finalist companies selected from 1,250 applications world-wide.

 

One company at the MassChallenge business incubator really stood out to me. Melanie Berger is the founder and CEO of Mariwear, a new and innovative concept in women’s loungewear. She is a dynamic businesswoman who is also a mom. In our conversations, I learned that she had lived abroad and grasped how important her role would be as mentor for Camilla and Claudia. While discussing the kinds of tasks that she would have for them in her fashion start-up, I could see that they would be involved in every level of her business. We were both excited for the girls’ arrival.

 

The internship proceeds

Camilla and Claudia working Mariwear

 

As the fall progressed, Camilla and Claudia sent me journals detailing their experiences and expressed how thrilled they were with their mentor and their fashion internships. As a former professor of education, I know how crucial it is for students to take a step back to reflect upon their experiences. Therefore, the students are asked to send me several journals that I have designed, with questions that are meant to encourage reflection.

 

Claudia and Camilla working at MassChallenge

 

An excerpt from Camilla’s journal

View from MassChallenge

(Office view)

 

What has been the best part of your internship?

 

The best part of the internship has been working with Melanie. She has been a great mentor and example because not only has she helped me grow as a future entrepreneur, but also she has helped me understand the importance of fighting for your goals even though there will be a lot of ups and downs.

 

She has really made us feel part of not only Mariwear, but also the MassChallenge community by introducing us to the other companies that we were interested in, or in some way, contribute to our future. I feel that every moment in MassChallenge has been a positive, since I am constantly meeting new people, making suggestions, asking questions, and learning something new.

 

A note from Melanie

It’s been such a pleasure for me to get to know Camilla and Claudia and Melanie, their mentor, feels the same way. She recently wrote:

 

Hi Carole,

Hope all is well.  I have to say, I am seriously sad that the girls are gone.

It was beyond an amazing experience for all of us.  They were wonderful on so many levels.  I can’t imagine having anyone else who can fill their shoes.

 

Melanie Berger

Founder

 

We wish Camilla and Claudia all the best as they start their freshman semester this January at Babson College!

 

Internship Consultation Free

 

It’s not too late for a Boston Summer Internship!


Internship Connection has had a very busy spring and we have just about placed all of our students.
We have recently been approached by some very exciting companies on the Boston waterfront in the Innovation District who would love interns from our program.

If you are a high school or college student interested in start-ups, marketing, technology, fashion and more, please contact us to learn about these amazing opportunities.

carole@internshipconnection.com    617-796-9283

Internship Connection

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