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 Eden Harris, COL ’19.
This summer, I interned as a product manager at a Philly-based startup, MilkCrate. Working as a product management intern, I got my first real look into how a business functions. Jumping from bioengineering into an experience like this was new, exciting, challenging, and rewarding. This opportunity allowed me to develop and understand my professional goals, particularly with regards to my engineering background. My position as product management intern exposed me to the consumer and business side of the product, supplementing my technical background in designing, calculating, coding, and building. This position gave me a better sense of how an idea takes off – from mockups, to meetings, to usability testing, finally to sales.
Throughout the duration of my internship, I got the opportunity to take on several different tasks, collaborating with other employees and interns on several projects. I worked on quality control, testing apps for bugs and usability issues. I also helped boost outreach within the Philly community by contacting the organizers of local speaking engagements in which our CEO would be able to present. Along with this, I researched and catalogued potential clients for us to reach out to, based off of some of the successful client experiences we had had in certain fields. Additionally, I worked with the CEO to design a mockup of a product geared towards some of our new clients and presented this mockup to my coworkers in development and client success. All of these experiences were totally new to me – not only had I never heard the word “mockup” before, I had never dealt with business-to-business interactions or community outreach.
As a low-income student, the Career Services funding allowed me to pursue an opportunity I would have otherwise been unable to pursue, and I am immensely grateful for that. My funding covered rent, living expenses, and transportation, relieving several major stressors of taking on an unpaid position. Moreover, this internship helped me broaden my skill set and adapt to a new type of workplace. I have learned a considerable amount about myself and the professional world. Given my background in engineering, my role was not as technical as I had hoped, but required me to develop my outreach and presentation skills. I feel confident that I will bring these skills to future job interviews, and ultimately future jobs.