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.
Arjun, a junior at Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School in Marlborough, MA, was interested in chemistry, biotech and chemical engineering. We matched Arjun to Novophage, a Cambridge-based Therapeutics company which was featured in MassHigh Tech magazine as ” one of the best start-ups to watch.” This company developed a cutting edge biofilm solution that is both eco-friendly and highly effective.
Arjun’s mentors were the founders of the company, graduates of Harvard Business School, MIT and Cornell. He was thrilled with the exposure he received and told us that what he most enjoyed was learning about lab techniques and standards, as well as the business side of a start-up.
Lauren has a bubbly and outgoing personality and loves art. A sophomore at Landmark School, she thought that she might be interested in a career in fashion. We matched Lauren to 2 young women who were CEO’s at fashion start-ups.
The first invited Lauren to help out at a trunk show where they demonstrated their innovative products; Clients have a hand at designing their own shoes.
The other CEO has a company that developed an innovative dress shoe that converts from a low to high heel. She hired Lauren as a summer intern.
In her journal, Lauren wrote,
“This internship gave me an inside look how to start a company in the fashion industry. Although my passion is fashion and design, I learned about business as well. I conducted research, communicated to vendors, used PowerPoint and Excel, sewed and designed.
As a sophomore at Choate Rosemary Hall, Jackie was interested in startups and technology. Coming from an entrepreneurial family, she had moved to Boston from Silicon Valley and was seeking a meaningful summer internship. We connected Jackie to Cashtivity, whose office was located in an exciting startup accelerator in Boston’s Innovation District. Cashtivity is a technology and data driven company, producing learning products based on challenges to enliven the entrepreneurial spirit and skills of K-12 students.
Continue reading “Jackie’s Startup Internship on the Boston Waterfront”
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.
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 co-working office space in Boston and site of Travis, our marketing intern.
As we research and contact new businesses for our students’ internships, we are amazed at the exciting opportunities in Boston’s innovative and entrepreneurial culture.
“WeWork is an amazing platform for creators — providing beautiful workspaces and a vibrant, valuable community to freelancers, startups, artists, small businesses and even divisions of large corporations all around the world. Their two Boston buildings are bustling with over 2,000 people who embody an energy that’s off the charts.”
-Marlo Fogelman, the CEO of Marlo Marketing
Stay tuned for our next blog to hear about Travis’ internship!
Jon, a junior at Newton North High School, was a supervisor at a local tennis and squash club for the summer and wondered if he would be able to fit in an internship. We were able to establish a 3-day per week experience that was customized for his schedule.
We matched Jon to an early stage company in the messaging, communication and social media space. The Chief Technology officer and Co-founder wrote Jon’s letter of recommendation:
“Our enterprise is at the leading edge of technology, which matches well with Jon’s academic and professional interests. We were able to provide him with rapid-fire experience in business at the dead center of today’s challenges.
Jon’s ability to pick up new tasks and get stuff done was frankly amazing. He jumped right in and became part of the team, providing input to problems that we actually implemented.”
In his journal, Jon told us, “The more I worked as an intern, the more I became integrated into the actual world of a CEO. At one point, I gave him a suggestion from a different perspective and it turned out to work really well. I learned to be more confident and expressive with my own ideas.”
Dan expressed a passion for business. As a junior at Newton South High School, Dan took business and entrepreneurship courses. We matched Dan to a start-up company which was one of the 2011 winners of the MassChallenge award for entrepreneurship.
This business was founded by 2 young CEO’s who conceived of an innovative online platform for matching artists to exhibit spaces. Dan interned 3 days a week and learned what it takes to launch a start-up, how to market and pitch to venture capitalists, and much more.
“The best part of my internship was attending the MassChallenge 5-Day boot camp and learning about basics of entrepreneurship (Finance, Marketing, Sales, etc.) At one point, someone sat down and asked me about ArtVenue. It was my fourth day and I had to tell this person all about the company, business model, company goals, etc. I realized I had done a good job of observing my company and absorbing information by listening in just a few days to the point where I could describe the company to a stranger without help from my bosses.”
Dan sat in on meetings with lawyers and clients. Additional responsibilities were: Formulating and sending out responses to e-mails, researching and contacting potential customers, updating company CRM database (customer relationship management) and social network pages.
At the end of the summer, the CEO told us that Dan would be sorely missed and that he made a tremendous contribution to the team.
Ben is the Founder and CEO of Privy, an Ecommerce company that supports 200,000+ marketers in over 180 countries.
Ben was a junior at Newton South High School when he became interested in what was a new scientific field at the time called nanotechnology. After researching the companies in Boston area, we connected him to the CEO of Nantero, which at that time was a new startup in greater Boston. At Nantero, Ben was trained to work on wafer-scale electron beam lithography, using a scanning electron microscope to define high-resolution features on test chips. The Chief Scientific officer wrote a stellar recommendation for college and Ben was accepted to Cornell where there was ongoing research in nanotechnology.
Ben’s high school internship in a STEM field jump-started his career. Following that, each successive internship led to the next one. Hired immediately from his last college internship, he began his career journey in technology.
“My internships provided a first hand experience of several, very different career paths. Summer long exposure in each different environment was all it took for me to change or validate my true passions. “
Continue reading “Benjamin, High School Internship- STEM/Nanotechnology”
Are you thinking about a college internship in Boston? What could be more exciting than a summer internship in 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
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
“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.“