It was a summer day in August when I walked into that start-up for an interview to do a summer internship. That was after 4 phone interviews they conducted with me. When entering the door, the first desk to the right had a sign on it hanged to the computer screen of that employee, turned out t be the head of global supply. The sign says “get shit done!”. Right at that moment I knew I wanted to do my internship at this place.
It was a 4 years company, which decided to relaunch itself as a new company with new name, brand, and business model. There was a lot of restructuring, I witnessed and was part of the new launch, saw how the press perceived the new company, it was exciting to see the tech news sites that I read everyday, like TechCrunch, writing about the company I work for. Our CEO shared the market intelligence research I made for the company with the international press.
I treated that research as a piece of art, and it actually paid off. It led to many other advances and gave our executives and board of directors a clear understanding of the latest trends and events in the ad tech ecosystem.
One of the other cool things I get to do in the internship is looking at the ad tech advances, analyze
competitors and the new product features they are rolling out, then create a comprehensive presentation every two weeks to the product management team including the CPO (Chief Product Officer) who is a Stanford MBA and came to the company after his time in Silicon Valley. The purpose of this meeting is to update and explain to the product team what were the latest things going on in the ad tech space in addition to discussing the future features of our product. Also, there was a huge task to prepare a detailed documentation of the platform, and it was so exciting to work on that because I had to meet with people from various division and get to know details about the amazing technology used in such complicated system, even understand how technical decisions were made early on in respond to the needs and requirements, that is heaven for a technologist!
I am passionate about building great companies, and although this was just an internship experience, I worked so hard and enjoyed, many days I was the last person to leave the office. I considered my self part of it. As a result, the products of that effort were essential to the new company. They were of a great benefit to the 6 people product management team, and they were of service to the business development team, they were also used by the top management including the CEO, who is a serial software entrepreneur with a successful track record, he started two companies in the past, one was acquired by HP and the other was acquired by Sun Microsystems.
As a reward for the work, the CPO awarded me 1000 shares in the company, which might be worth
nothing now, but if the company keeps its growth rate steady, then they will be of some value in the
future. It is not maybe about the value, but it feels good to hold shares of the company you work for, and in this case intern for. At the end, they said: “This is the first time we ever award shares to interns.”
The internship is still not over and many challenges lay ahead both in the time left here and in the future
career – Looking forward!
Bottom line: do what you are passionate about, that’s the best way to excel.