An Expansive Gap Year Internship at A Boston Startup

Travis was a recent graduate of Phillips Academy Andover who was looking forward to starting Brown University after completing a Gap Year. He was looking for a summer experience related to engineering, computers and investments.

We combined Travis’s interests by placing him at Privy, a startup that has developed a unique email list growth platform for retail marketers. The office is located in the exciting co-working space WeWork that was described in the previous blog. Travis was mentored by both the CEO and the VP of Business Development.

Dan, Travis and Ben
Dan, Travis and Ben

Travis described a highlight of his experience there:

I was invited to sit in on an investors meeting with Ben, Privy’s CEO. I mostly sat back and learned from Ben’s presentation he was giving to the investor. At first, I didn’t have much to say regarding why this man should invest in this growing company. However after being asked a few questions about my own work, I realized that I too, was representing Privy in front of this potential investor, even as an intern. Ben had brought me along so I could learn but I was also part of the company.

This made me feel important and slightly responsible for how this meeting went. As I answered a couple questions, I made sure to put my work and Privy in a positive light to do my part, as little as it may have been, in selling Privy to this investor. I learned that I could contribute in more expansive ways, in addition to just being an intern.

In his letter of recommendation, Dan, the VP of Business Development, highly recommended Travis and described his work as impressive:

Travis’s interests in business and computer science helped him contribute greatly to a small entrepreneurial team and also engage our software engineers in an intellectually curious and helpful manner.

Travis helped write content and customer case studies, which he published on the Privy blog. He researched and generated sales prospect lists for the sales team and sent marketing and partnership emails. In both cases, the company saw actual results from the programs Travis worked on.

When asked what was the most important thing he learned, Travis emphasized a few points: learning how a start-up operates, the many things that need to happen to make a company run effectively and seeing all the different tools and why each one is needed in different ways to grow the company.

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