This is the next in a series of posts by recipients of the 2018 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they’ve been spending their summer. You can read the entire series here.
This entry is by Katherine Ku, WH & COL ’20
Even before I started my internship at MilkCrate, I knew I would easily connect to the company’s culture. Though I never imagined myself working at a startup, I always knew I had a passion for social impact and entrepreneurship. After meeting MilkCrate’s client success manager and product manager, I immediately connected to the two women and the company’s mission.
As a tech startup, MilkCrate creates white-labeled apps that tracks and encourages user engagement for mission-driven organizations from Wharton Sustainability to the Philadelphia Cultural Alliance to Balance, a gym in Chestnut Hill. I began my client success and business development during a time of transition for MilkCrate, during which the company was expanding to industries including eco-tourism, nonprofits, and education. As such, I had the opportunity to grow with the company and speak firsthand with new clients, understanding their needs and visions.
Specifically, I resonated most with the mission of a client, Balance Chestnut Hill, who is attempting to create an app targeting young female athletes that will offer resources including training tips, guidance on healthy eating, game-day visualization, meditation, self-care, and more. As a member of Balance’s target audience, I was able to offer insight into content users would find valuable. Aside from communicating with clients, I even learned to code using JSON, designing and producing functional app mock-ups for clients.
Beyond the concreteness of client interactions however, I realized something that truly makes MilkCrate special: its culture permeates through every meeting, every team member, and every interaction in the office. The MilkCrate office practices what it preaches, with a compost bin the corner of the office and many staff members bringing lunches from home in glass Tupperware. Between walks to the nearby Whole Foods, a kombucha happy hour, and participating in a plastic-free challenge, MilkCrate’s emphasis on collaboration and sustainability permeates every aspect of the company.
Even just in a summer, I feel that I have not only gained valuable friends and mentors in my CEO and coworkers, but also that I have left a lasting impact on a company that continues to grow as it works with companies that are changing the world. This experience has confirmed my interest in social impact and corporate social responsibility as well as demonstrated to me the importance of a strong corporate culture that ties the entire team together. Without a doubt, this summer has been a memorable and impactful one.