Success Stories

Business Internship With Winner Of Harvard’s Innovation Challenge

Matt, a junior at Lexington  Christian Academy was interested in business, and through our contacts with the Harvard Innovation Lab, we established an internship with the winner of Harvard’s Innovation Challenge. This startup, located in Cambridge, MA provides customers with the ability to search, from all electronic devices, hundreds of daily deals sites in order to save more and get deeper discounts.

Matt worked directly under the CEO and his role involved research, marketing, advertising and brainstorming creative pitch ideas. He told us that the highlight of the summer was the chance to set up a booth in Harvard Square to pitch the company. His boss told him that he was responsible for coming up with the entire plan including hiring people for the promotion as well as creating the marketing materials. While as first a bit overwhelmed, Matt quickly rose to the challenge and executed a highly successful event. Matt enjoyed the camaraderie of the team and felt that he made long lasting connections for the future.

A Startup Internship in New York City for a High School Sophomore

 

It was wonderful to discover that Neeraj went on to UCLA after high school and interned at Goldman Sachs last summer, as an investment banking analyst.

So how did Neeraj’s journey in finance begin? When he was at Princeton Day School, in our initial conversation with him, Neeraj told us that his cousins in San Francisco were involved in investment banking. He thought that he might like to have an internship in finance to gain early exposure to the field.

Why he chose to intern for a startup company instead of a financial firm?

We encouraged Neeraj to shift his focus from a financial firm for the time being. We explained that for someone who was age 16, a better idea might be to intern for a startup company, where he would actually be able to be delve into real work, and at the same time, see how businesses get started and funded.

Internships must be educational

We often hear from many parents who tell us that the summer before they contact us, their child interned for a relative or friend of the parents at either a law or financial firm, to their dissatisfaction. The students usually end up filing and photocopying and often get turned off from their experiences. My philosophy at Internship Connection is to make sure, when contacting a potential workplace mentor, that the student will be involved in a variety of tasks and meaningful work. The experience must be educational.

He learned about the financial aspects of running a startup and how to raise money

After researching potential businesses, we connected Neeraj to Privy. A startup funded by investors for over five million dollars, the company offers a local online marketing platform for businesses. Privy’s focus is to make it easy for local merchants to offer in-store promotions on the web that customers can redeem at their locations with their mobile phones, allowing local businesses to enhance local visibility and better target deals to consumers.

We thought that Neeraj, since his family owned a small business, would really be able to understand Privy’s mission and contribute his own ideas. In addition, he could learn about the financial aspects of running a startup and how the founders raise money.

Jake Cohen, Director of Strategy took Neeraj under his wing, providing thoughtful and challenging tasks.

Words from Neeraj’s journal

Question: List the kinds of things that you’ve been doing at work.

  1. Providing Research Analysis on different Venture Capitals and Startup Mentors in a spreadsheet format
  2. Attending and participating in and out of office meetings with different people and companies
  3. Providing insight and suggestions on the Privy Database through examination of the Dashboard
  4. Participating in company calls
  5. Participating in Privy Dashboard analysis
  6. Learning new marketing skills and concepts through real-world situations with Jake.

Question: What has been the best part of your internship?

With many great parts about my internship, the best part is gaining real-world experience while participating in meetings with clients and partners. By sitting in and participating in these meetings, not only am I receiving new marketing knowledge and experience with dealing in people to people situations, but also these meetings have provided me with a new perspective on the inner workings of a company’s growth. Seeing Privy grow daily as a startup has truly been a great part of my internship with both myself and Jake happy with company progress as the weeks go by.

Question: Can you describe a situation during your internship in which you took a risk by putting yourself in a new position, such as meeting new people, asking questions, making suggestions? Write a paragraph or two about this situation explaining how it made you feel and what you learned about yourself as a result.

During the second week of my internship, I was asked by my boss to provide analysis for the new Privy dashboard for merchants and small business owners. By simulating myself as a small business owner, I was able to step into the shoes of the client, a pivotal part of the development of a company, and my primary job was to provide advice and suggestions for the dashboard to make it user-friendly for clients.

Knowing well that by providing valid and beneficial suggestions would boost my reputation as a good intern while helping the company, I was faced with thinking on my feet with pressure to provide good advice. As the simulation continued however, I realized that by focusing on simulating an SMB owner and by focusing on the task at hand without emotional or mental constraint, I was able to provide sound advice without overthinking the situation. The result was positive with some of my advice actually helping and being implemented in the newer edition of the dashboard providing me with some confidence. As a result of this, I started trusting myself and my ideas more as the internship has continued.

A note from Neeraj’s mother, Sudha Devulapalli

Hi Carole,
It was a pleasure talking to you this morning. No amount of words and gratitude is enough for the role you have played in inspiring Neeraj. I really appreciate your valuable suggestion about incorporating Neeraj’s internship experience in to his college essays. I think it is a great idea and will add a lot of value to his essay and application.
Best regards,
Sudha Devulapalli

Penn’s Finance Internship in Boston

Penn recently wrote to us that he was just accepted to the Ross School of Business at U Michigan. He valued his summer internship experience in high school at a financial firm where he was assigned to five different financial consultants.
Penn’s assignments included litigation work, data entry and calculating cost basis into the office system. He learned to use many basic business programs and especially enjoyed creating graphs and working with Excel.

In her letter of recommendation, Penn’s mentor wrote, “It was impressive that Penn sought out an internship before he even entered college. Because we are a financial investment company, Penn learned how financial consultants manage their businesses and what services we provide for our clients. He was able to gain a rounded view of the financial industry.”

New York City Finance Internship for a High School Junior

Scott was a junior at Glen Ridge High School, when after many attempts on his own, he found that it was impossible for a high school student to land an internship at an investment firm in New York City. Our counselor in New York connected Scott to one of the most well known firms and facilitated a unique summer internship. Scott was assigned to the team that oversaw the training program for new analysts. He was able to attend networking and social events as well as training sessions on global corporate strategy and financial market overviews.

In his letter of recommendation, the Vice President of Scott’s division wrote,

Scott was our youngest intern. His high level of maturity and professionalism coupled with his positive “can-do” attitude made him one of our most valued interns…….In summary, Scott is a team player with a maturity level beyond his years. In his short time here, he made an impression upon his colleagues and superiors. I am confident that Scott would be a great asset to any university or place of employment.

Scott described his experience in his college essay:

Walking into my boss’s office with high expectations, and at the same time reservations, I felt I was ready. Little did I realize how ready I would have to be. He greeted me and immediately told me to sit in on a conference call. Having expected to be a “coffee gofer” I knew from that point on, I was going to do something meaningful. What also startled me was the respect I received. I was elated with my first day and knew I would look forward to going to work each day. This experience confirmed my thoughts about the area in which I eventually would want to work.

We Secured A Boston Sports Internship For This High School Sophomore

When I ask young men who have called about our program- “What would be your fantasy internship”, almost always their answer is “Interning for the Boston Red Sox.”  While those coveted spots are few and far between, their response tells me that a sports related internship would be ideal.

Case in point was Billy, a sophomore at Phillips Academy. Billy was already a talented writer, the Head Manager at Press Room Sports: Boston, a sports blog thatprovided regional news, analysis, and opinions from writers who are just as passionate as their readers.” Billy had written weekly on topics ranging from the Celtics’ rebuilding plans to the “State of the NBA.” He had also written weekly articles for the sports and features section of his school newspaper.

We were able to match Billy to one of the coolest and most successful startups located on the Boston Waterfront. Coachup helps athletes reach the next level by connecting them with private coaches in every sport, nationwide.

In his journal, Billy wrote:

“The atmosphere at CoachUp has been awesome and I’ve always felt accepted, even though I’m the youngest in the office. It’s great being able to work in an environment I enjoy, rather than one I dread. My mentor, like the rest of the office, is very upbeat and positive. The environment is young, friendly, and enjoyable.”

What have you been doing there?

Working on my big project: the e-Book. The e-Book is comprised of articles written by myself and other interns with information we’ll be gathering from conducting phone interviews with some of CoachUp’s more notable coaches (i.e. ex-professionals/college notables).

Other projects include:

  • Working with their website
  • Fixing links on their blogs
  • Sifting through messages between coaches and clients
  • Approving/disapproving many coaching applications
  • Writing some of my own video tip blogs

Can you describe a situation during your internship in which you really put yourself out there? How did it made you feel and what did you learn about yourself?

 

A couple of weeks ago I conducted my first phone interview for the e-Book project with former NBA player Lamond Murray. I was kind of nervous at first, because I wasn’t too sure of how seriously he was going to take the interview. I was amazed at how thoughtful he was throughout our conversation and how much information he shared with me about how he grew up playing basketball. I was ecstatic with how well the interview went and even decided to write an extra blog about Lamond’s life because he gave me so much information. The success of Lamond’s interview instilled a lot of confidence in me, and I couldn’t have asked for a better first interview.

 

 

Ryan Built Some Serious Cred At This Boston Sports internship

Ryan(left) built some serious cred at this Boston Sports internship.

Sometimes we hear from college students who are taking a semester off or thinking about transferring. In that case, an internship can help refocus goals and perhaps lead to a different career direction.

 

Fall, Spring and Summer Semesters- Taking Advantage of 3 Opportunities

 

Ryan contacted us after he differed his acceptance to Brown University. He hoped to gain some real world experience before college. After spending the fall semester at the University of Barcelona in Spain, taking 3 moths of language classes and traveling, he was ready to come back to Boston and was interested in a Spring semester internship.

Having read a great deal about a new and exciting company in Boston, and knowing that Ryan was somewhat of a sports fanatic, we matched him to an internship at Fancred. Fancred is a TechStars startup and a social network for sports enthusiasts.

At Fancred, Ryan was a quick study. He became the primary contributor for their blog on Tumblr, managed their official Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest pages and assisted in research and development of content on the site.

“I have nothing but positive things to say about my experience thus far. As an avid sports fan, working with an up and coming sports app is a perfect fit. The employees are enthusiastic and fun loving, which creates an environment in which I feel comfortable working in. The work has been engaging, challenging, and seems integral to the growth of the company. I can’t recommend this enough to anyone who loves watching sports, enjoys researching them, and also likes having fun around the work place.” — Ryan

Now that Ryan has experienced a startup, he has expressed an interest in gaining exposure to a bigger company for the summer.

Engineering and Science Internship at a Great Boston Startup

Brendan, a junior at Carlisle High School,  is a very well rounded student who enjoys learning, especially chemistry and biology. Also, as a skier and outdoor enthusiast he became very interested in conservation and sustainability. Combining these interests, we matched Brendan to the CEO of a company that was developing an innovative and sustainable way to manufacture mosaics, using a robotic manufacturing process.

 

Brendan worked in production and conducted small engineering projects. He designed methods to unload tile tubes more efficiently, designing a stopper, creating a prototype and then testing the design.

In his journal, Brendan wrote,

“I learned a lot of math and science in school, but never had the chance to apply these concepts to real life processes. I enjoy discussing ways to make tangible systems more efficient and sustainable. An added feature of my internship has been the experience of working in a start-up company environment. I am gaining a lot of experience by observing my co-workers in action and watching how decisions are made and problems tackled. I love how the CEO and founders are in the same room as the production workers and engineers.

I was able to sit with the co-founder responsible for marketing who discussed strategies for marketing their products. We talked for about an hour about their evolution and also discussed the difference between working for a big company and starting your own. Now I have come to understand the difficulty of taking the initial risk and am inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit and the hard work involved.”

The CEO wrote Brendan’s letter of recommendation:

“Brendan made an immediate impact with our engineering and production team. Despite being only a high school student, he was able to integrate well with engineers and offer insightful ideas. He quickly mastered the production processes and began working on ways to improve them. Brendan got his first taste of engineering by pinpointing problems, designing solutions, prototyping solutions and then fabricating those solutions. He designed methods to make our tile inspection station as automated and comfortable as possible. His insights allowed our full time production workers not only to work more comfortably and sustainably, but also to see new ways of approaching production improvements.

After being immersed in the startup environment Brendan has made it clear that he wishes to start his own company some day. He definitely has a passion for knowledge in many fields and I feel he is excited about combining technology with one of his broad interests, including, music, social sciences, sports, or conservation. I believe Brendan has the entrepreneurial and pioneering drive to make the strongest contribution to any college he applies to.”

A Boston Costume Design Internship in Emerson College’s theater department

Caroline was a freshman at Syracuse University majoring in Theater and Fashion Design. She had won numerous statewide awards in high school for technical excellence in costume design. We placed Caroline with a prestigious theater company in Boston where she stitched costumes in the costume shop as well as working for the costume head of Emerson College’s theater department.

Caroline wrote, “Everything worked out very well. I met some great people and learned so much! It was an experience that I know will help me out in the future. Thank you so much for helping me find this internship.”

Boston Computers & Entrepreneurship Internship

Will is a serial entrepreneur, currently as Co-founder at Recharge in San Francisco and formerly as founder of Cloudy, Eduset and more. As a high school junior at Concord-Carlisle High School, Will already had an impressive resume. He was hired by his school to create their website, worked in programming after school for a local company, and started his own on-line website where DJ’s create play lists for users. Will’s internship objective was to improve his understanding of web technology and media by interning at a web 2.0 company.

After extensive research we were able to establish an internship at a well known start-up matched exactly to Will’s interest in media and music.

“I have been working with the founder as well as their web guru to brainstorm and prototype software that would enhance their software offerings. For instance, I have made a functioning prototype of software that allows employees to quickly add new KeyFeeding sources to the platform. The goal of my work is to demonstrate an early functioning version of software that could be re-coded by engineering and added to the production version, allowing management to assess the value of the potential new feature before committing valuable engineering resources.”

When we visited during the summer, Will proudly showed us that they placed his name on the door of the office where he worked.

When asked what the best part of his internship was, Will wrote,

“The opportunity to work directly with the founder (pictured with Will in the photo) on a daily basis has been phenomenal, and far more access than I had expected. I have also had great experiences with many other employees, all who are willing to help me solve a problem or brainstorm ideas. I have had many discussions where I have actually felt as if I was having a say in the direction the company will take in various areas, something which I would have hardly dreamed of coming into the internship. Separately, I was also able to sit in a few days ago on their quarterly meeting, where they discussed the current situation and future direction of the company, an experience I found extremely valuable, as I look to someday start my own business.”

Will was actually hired to work there after school during his senior year. We are sure that he will enjoy these professional contacts for many years to come.

Boston Writing Internship

Leonard wrote for the literary journal of his school,the Salisbury School in CT, and was inspired by a well-known author of historical fiction who spoke to his class. Leonard thought it might be interesting to intern for an author during the summer.
We matched Leonard to a well-known writers group in Boston, where he helped out in the office and was able to attend seminars in their summer writing series. The Boston Phoenix described the group as “the best place to hobnob with the literati.”

Leonard said,” I was exposed to workshops on fiction, poetry and screen writing. I learned about issues writers face and met some of Boston’s best writers. It was an amazing experience.

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