Silicon Valley is a exceptional place to intern – you are constantly learning and contributing right at the center of innovation in tech and business. Wondering what an Owler internship would be like? Here are a few tips from our most recent (and fantastic) undergrad intern, Summer Modelfino (Dartmouth ‘15).
(Owler is looking for driven, self-starting interns who want quality startup experience. Interested? Email firstname.lastname@example.org – internships are possible year-round!)
When I told my friends and family that I was interning at a business information startup for the summer, they were more excited about the “startup” part than the “business information” part. Turns out that company data doesn’t always capture the imagination.
But maybe it should.
Given a little context, news and numbers can tell some great stories. Here are three things that my internship at Owler taught me about storytelling:
1. The more you know, the better the story.
The amount of business news that I read increased exponentially this summer. I became aware of companies that I knew nothing about (looking at you, Lyft), product trends that I hadn’t heard of (like wearables), and industries whose growth I had underestimated (streaming music).
Of course, a news article is a story in and of itself. But hundreds of news articles over the course of a summer? That tells a much bigger story. Owler gave me access to huge volumes of news in a personalized feed. By keeping up with businesses daily, I learned how quickly companies can rewrite their own stories and even disrupt industries.
2. Sometimes the truth is in the telling.
Not all people have the time to read hundreds of business news articles. So it becomes important to synthesize all of this information into a form that’s easily-digestible. This is where infographics come in.
Owler turns company data and business events into visuals that quickly convey a story. Let’s say you read an article about Apple acquiring Beats for $3 billion. You could take information about the acquisition, about Apple, and about other streaming music providers and create an infographic showing the contextual narrative surrounding the acquisition. (We did!)
Anyone who looks at the infographic gets a better sense of why Apple went for this deal. Now, there’s a story.
3. Constant revision makes perfect.
Of course, I was lucky enough to be a part of Owler’s story. Like most startups, Owler changes every day. There’s a big TV on the wall of our office that shows Owler’s stats in real-time. I could see how many users were on our site, how many people had opened their daily email, and how much time the average person spent on the site.
Over the course of my ten weeks, I watched these numbers change because of the work we were doing. We rolled out changes to our website and tracked how users responded. Our bounce rate decreased, average time on the site increased, and the number of profiles viewed per user increased as well. I may have joined the Owler story in the midst of things, but I still got to see the conclusion and impact of many of the projects we worked on. I can’t wait to hear what’s next in the Owler story.
A big thanks to Owler for an internship experience I won’t forget. And for teaching me that information – even business information – can be powerful and exciting if you find the right way to share it.
(Now we just need to make Owler as addicting as Cream’s ice cream sandwiches!)