Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

The Not So Pretty Side of a Start Up

A week before I was scheduled to start working with a start up in New York City this summer, I received a call from the founder and he informed me that they could no longer financially afford a full time intern. This is something no one would be happy to hear, but especially a college student who had already paid for housing in Manhattan. I was angry. I had worked with this company before and loved my experience and everyone I worked with so I tried to have compassion but I couldn’t help my angry towards the company and individuals within the company. They still were offering me part time work, but that wasn’t enough to support me this summer. I started reaching out to anyone and everyone to try and find another internship or part time work. I was in a panic, it was the end of May and internships had filled up months ago. I had no choice but to come to the city, with a plan to work part time for this start up and continue searching for other work. Luckily, I found another opportunity for an awesome internship, but working with the start up for the short time I did in a time of crisis for the company, definitely provided a lot of learning opportunities. I was able to let go of my anger because I really appreciate the work that this start up does, and I saw the majority of the company trying their best to salvage what was left of the company. Another part of me started to take in the not so pretty side of starting your own company. Through Babson, I have discovered my love for the startup atmosphere and my passion to want to start my own company one day. This experience taught me how much dedication it takes to really be successful. I saw firsthand how lack of focus or how letting your personal life distract you can dramatically affect your entire company and everyone who is a part of it. Being an entrepreneur is not easy, and I knew that, but I think really understanding that you are dedicating the majority of your life to making your venture successful is very important. There are circumstances where companies get unlucky and fail, but I think the majority of failure is due to lack of commitment and that is what I took away from my time with this company.