Computer Science

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.

A Programming Internship for a High School Junior from England

Andrew (arms folded above) is from an American family who is currently living in England. They reached out to us in order to establish an internship related to Computer Science/Programming. We Skyped with Andrew to get to know him and understand his interests, helped to establish summer housing for him in a college dormitory, and connected him to Privy, a venture capital backed startup company. Privy’s office is in Downtown Boston in the WeWork building, a short subway ride from Andrew’s dorm.

Because Andrew had a basic familiarity with Java, he came up to speed quickly and was able to take on a programming project. In his letter of recommendation, Privy’s CEO wrote:

We asked Andrew to build a particular software application relating to customers. Through this project, he was able to set up a development environment on his own machine, lean a new programming language(Ruby on Rails), integrate with two external vendor APIs and launch the application. We are now using his open source application on a weekly basis. Andrew is the kind of student I would highly recommend to any organization.

In his journal, Andrew wrote about the best part of his internship:

The best part of my internship was definitely writing the program to track data on our support conversations. I had to integrate my program with two different APIs (Intercom and Google Sheets) which was a big enough challenge on its own. Then I had to write all the logic required to take the data we get from Intercom, re-format it, and place it in a Sheets document in such a way that this program can theoretically run every week for as long as it needs to and still function properly, even with manual changes to the document by Privy employees.

I had a wonderful time learning about all of the little intricacies of the Privy code base and how they work together to make an efficient machine. This project was also a great opportunity to get to know the developer team better and to learn how collaboration between a team of programmers works in a business, given that most of my programming projects up to this point have been solo.

A Gap Year Internship for Travis with the VP of Business Development 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 near South Station. Travis was mentored by both the CEO and the VP of Business Development.

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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