This is the next in a series of posts by recipients of the 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 the summer. You can read the entire series here.
This entry is by Klaudia Amenábar, COL ’16
My experiences working in groups of women has never been good. I’m a dancer and an actress, and in those environments it usually turns catty and unsupportive. So when I started my summer internship at MOGUL, a content sharing platform startup for women, and moved to a historic women’s boardinghouse in New York, I was honestly nervous. But on my first day, I went to a yacht party and saw T-Pain live. Welcome to MOGUL! This was going to be awesome.
I should start with living in New York. So far, I have found very few negatives – I feel the happiest I’ve been in a long time here, like I belong, like I have everything that I need around me. Sometimes I take a taxi to work just to stick my head out the window and feel the breeze and the city on my face. Even when I’m alone I feel like I’m in the right place, on the right path. I don’t know if this comes from what I’m doing or where I am, but I’ve always loved the city, and always loved New York. I come from Washington, DC, but the suburbs, and went to Penn because it was in a city. Deep down, I always knew I’d end up in New York after graduation, and this summer has only confirmed how much I want that. It has also given me the confidence to make that dream happen – I was honestly scared of moving straight to the city, but now that I’ve been here for a while in my “summer preview”, I can’t wait.
Despite loving New York so much, most of my time here has been dedicated to MOGUL. I knew going in that working at a small but fast-growing startup would be all-encompassing, but I had no idea what it meant professionally. When I worked on Capitol Hill, my work ended when I left. But at a small company like this, I have been given a lot of responsibility, and entrusted with a lot. Some days I go home and still have hours of work to do, but I remember that THAT is what I’m here for.
While the work is engrossing and I’ve learned more than I could in a whole semester at school, my favorite part of the experience has been my coworkers. We work in a shared office, 4 employees plus some interns and remote coworkers, so we spend the whole day on our computers together. The conversation in the office flows seamlessly from closing investor deals to someone’s date last night, and we switch from laughing at cat videos to silently pinging each other on GMAIL chat. I feel personally connected to every woman in the office, especially the CEO Tiffany, and my mentor and department boss, Namisha. The women in this office are incredibly busy, and incredibly accomplished, and they take time out of their day that they could be making money to sit with me and teach me about marketing (and about life). I don’t mind staying late to work when I know I’ll have them by my side, simultaneously writing partner proposals and showing me an awesome new website to buy affordable dresses.
My experience working at a startup, especially one staffed and created by women, has included everything from celebrity retweets and cool events to mountains of work and Chinese takeout. I am so glad they want me to continue working for them part time in the fall, because I would miss these women so much – their expertise, unique personalities and amazing generosity.
Check out MOGUL at onmogul.com!