Undergraduate Blog / Defining Your Babson

San Francisco Ugrad Alumni Spotlight: Tom James

“I LOVE San Francisco, and although I was prepared to move to LA, NYC or Austin for the summer, I wanted to stay in this amazing city surrounded by crazy and interesting people!”


Tom James participated in the Semester in San Francisco Ugrad Program during Spring 2016:

>> Where did you intern in San Francisco?  

I’m a Growth Guru at RefurbMe. I run the marketing side of the business. At the moment, I am doing everything I can to grow web traffic, RefurbMe users, and sales through our website. This includes things like: running growth tactics such as competitions and small hacks to acquire users from all parts of the web; managing a team of writers for our blog and distributing content; running advertising campaigns on Facebook, LinkedIn etc.; running customer support and using this data to design user experience improvements on the website; running the email strategy; finding trends in our data to turn into useful information for the public and press.


>> Why did you choose to work at RefurbMe? 

Because I got on well with the founder, and I believe in him and the idea, and can see how I can help grow the idea. We are the smartest way to shop for refurbished Apple products. If you’re looking to save money when buying your next Apple device, you can use our website to find and track the best options for you, and often save up to 50% off retail prices. And you won’t have to check 10+ websites to do this, just 1. I am going back to the UK to finish my BSc degree from University of Manchester so I will be working for RefurbMe remotely from the UK for the next year.


>> What have you learned from working at RefurbMe?  

I have learned a lot about how ‘work’ works. I know that sounds weird. But one of my aims for the summer was to learn more professional processes (within marketing for example). Although using processes has it’s place, I have learned that it doesn’t really matter HOW you do things, it’s more about WHAT you actually achieve. I also learned loads of other things, from cool growth ideas, to useful tools for marketing and tracking, and even some basic technical / software skills.

img_4891>> What advice do you have for someone working in a startup? 

Don’t work for them if you don’t like the basic product / service. Put everything you can into them. Write down every idea you have, think about it, develop it, and then talk to your team about it – it could end up being a revolutionary idea. List to customer feedback – this is sooooooooo important – also, make it easy for customers to give you feedback / ask questions. Try to keep an organized to do list, and review it every week at least to ensure you are doing the most high priority tasks.

>> How has being in San Francisco impacted your work? 

I met a really helpful growth marketers community which includes some of the brightest growth minds in the world. Also, I have felt so happy in general because it is easy to have a good work / life balance since there is so much to do for fun in the Bay Area – and feeling happy means better work.


>> Favorite place(s) in San Francisco and things you do for fun? 

This is IMPOSSIBLE. Cycling the Golden Gate bridge to the Marin hills and Sausalito. Relaxing with good food in the Mission district. Visiting Twin Peaks and Treasure Island at night. Playing soccer with friends in Fort Mason. Go karting. Rock climbing in Dogpatch. Reading by the water in Mission Bay. Amazing food in Fishermans Wharf. Eating at Cliff House restaurant. Trips to: Stinson Beach, Mt Diablo, Lake Tahoe, San Jose and muuuuuch more…

Tom James, Exchange Student @ Babson College ’16 | Entreprenership | tjames4@babson.edu