Our latest summer intern, Jeevan Vase (Cal Poly SLO ’18), shares his experience as a marketing intern at Owler:
(Are you a driven self-starter who wants to know what it’s like working for a startup? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.)
Two days. That’s how long it took for me to become involved in my first executive level meeting, join a team, and present an idea in front of the whole company, including the CEO. Crazy right? This immediate interaction with several admittedly accomplished people definitely made me feel valued and even a little intimidated. There is no other environment where you can instantly become acquainted with the most important people in your small world.
Owler is uniquely positioned even within the startup community because of our team stationed in India. This unique positioning gave me the opportunity to experience a little of what international business looks like, from early morning (ugh) to late night (yay!) conference calls. It was during these calls that I had the privilege of witnessing previously-unthought-of brilliant insights and ideas coming from thousands of miles away. I was reminded not to discount others’ ideas just because they are different than your own, but to weigh ideas as objectively as possible and select the best one.
Company lunches will be fondly remembered for their exotic nature, from Korean BBQ to Thai to Indian street food, my taste buds were always left tingling from a new sensation. The conversations had over those lunches will not be soon forgotten either. I was consistently surprised by the knowledge my coworkers possessed, and was enjoyed learning about their past successes and how they accomplished them. I had a blast helping out at the Second Harvest Volunteer Food Bank with the team, and found it to be a real exercise in both efficiency and team bonding.
Do Interesting Work
However, despite what I’d have you believe, it wasn’t all play. I worked on a number of smaller projects from search engine optimization to customer relationship management to social media. I also worked on a couple of bigger projects; one being the widget distribution plan which is being implemented even as I am typing this. These projects all pushed me like never before. I learned how to effectively reach out to bloggers and other people of interest, and learned the importance of doing research! I initially struggled with the ambiguity of the work I was doing, as I was used to having clear cut instructions detailing exactly what was needed. Defining your own work can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or advice from those with more experience, you will thank yourself later. I believe that asking for help while outlining your own work will lead to the greatest satisfaction when you implement your solution.
I loved seeing how the product was being changed and optimized constantly, and how no one was willing to settle for less. The weekly meeting gave people the opportunity to give input on what was working and what could be improved. This philosophy of constant improvement is not limited to the company, but can be extended to our daily lives. The best advice I can give people is to continually seek to grow and improve yourself, and let the circumstances around you sort themselves out.
As a windfall of working at Owler, I learned a ton about other companies, their origins, marketing and business strategies, and their company goals. I finally understood just how valuable the information Owler has to offer really is, and the effort they are putting into making it more easily digestible. I am really excited about some of the new changes that Owler will be rolling out over the next year, both big and small.
I discovered what work habits are best for my productivity, and that I enjoyed the working environment of a smaller company. This doesn’t mean I won’t work at a larger company — fact is I probably will, because I need to try it before passing judgement. That said, I liked being able to interact with everyone in the business on a daily basis. Having meetings at Philz or working from home was a new experience, but an enjoyable one.
Have Fun Doing It
Owler knows how to have fun. From rock music-themed board presentations to setting off party poppers as slide transitions, even the mundane was made exciting. Intense table tennis matches were a regular occurrence, and I’m honored to hold the title of Office Champion (sorry Gregg). Our daily kooshball tournaments involved inordinate amounts of trash talking and laughter, as we all knew exactly what was on the line: eternal honor and bragging rights. We all come together when it matters most, at the Giants game, where we demolished the Cubs 9-1.
I am extremely thankful to Owler for giving me this awesome opportunity to work in such a fun, lively, yet industrious place. Thanks for the work experience, valuable lessons, and endless laughter. I depart this magical place with a deeper understanding of Owler and business in general, much improved kooshball skills, an admiration for constant and relentless improvement, and so much more.
Cal Poly SLO ’18