3 Lessons from working at a Startup
Startups are exciting, fast- paced, and all around just a fun and energetic scene to be a part of. Working for a startup has been one of the best experiences I’ve had at Babson – it’s like FME, but with real stakes involved.
This summer I am interning with Mighty Well, a medical accessories firm started by one of Babson’s own alums – Emily Levy. Emily started Mighty Well out of necessity after she was diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease as a sophomore in college. Now, it is an eight-person firm that serves patients all over the country.
The top three things I’ve learned about working at a start up are as follows, in no particular order.
- Be Passionate about the Product / Service
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve gotten from my CEO since starting at Mighty Well is: at the core of it all, a company is its product and people and if you don’t like one of them, that’ll make for a tough work environment.
I’ve always been an avid believer of loving the work that you do. It’s so important to recognize the value that you, as an individual can contribute. I love the startup scene because of that. You aren’t just one cog in a machine, but rather every decision you make has the potential to impact the entire organization. The reason why I chose to work with Mighty Well this summer stems from my own family’s struggle with health—I wanted to provide the caregiver perspective to the company and in turn, help to improve patients’ quality of life.
- Know your worth:
We all do this, more so as women in the work place – we don’t advocate for ourselves as often as we should. I remember coming into the office one day this summer with an awful stomachache, I would soon find out to be an ulcer. My coworkers all asked why I came in that day despite being sick, and I didn’t really have an answer for them. I came in because it was a work day and I was doing my job – what other possible explanation was there?
While no one made me come into work, I felt a sense of obligation and so I came in. It wasn’t until one of my good friends and coworker, Rachel advocating for me to take the day off and go to the doctors before I realized in diving so deep into my work, I had neglected my own health. I was able to take a step back and re-prioritize my life.
- Work is great, but it’s still summer!
Lastly, while I do love my job and the people I work with, this is the last summer I have before graduation – the last summer to be free of ‘adult’ worries and learn as much as you can while still using the ‘student’ card. I want to make the most out of it – and working at a startup has made that possible. One of my favorite parts of the job is the flexibility in hours and commutes. I have the option of working out of a Boston office, or a weekend in Newport and meet with patients.
We’ve all heard of the #startuplife, but you won’t really know until you experience it for yourself!