Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Going With the Little One

One of the things that I value most is diversity of experience. Going through a wide range of challenges and incidents better prepares me to handle anything that I may encounter in the future. That’s why this year I decided to intern with the small non-profit, IMPACT Melanoma.

Last summer, I worked for a very different company. As a native of Northern California, I decided to find an internship in the technology hub of the world: Silicon Valley. As one thing led to another, I found myself set up for a Design Thinking position at the software company, SAP.

Now I would say that I am definitely more of a numbers guy, not really design oriented. This job put me out of my element. In addition, I was surrounded by thousands of the smartest people in the world. You could say that I was a bit intimidated.

However, through a plethora of questions, examples, and more questions, I eventually found my feet and was able to become an important part of the team.

As great as this experience was, I knew that not every company can afford the luxuries of SAP: free lunch, lounges, hikes, and weekly beer bashes. That’s why I decided to move out to Boston to work for IMPACT Melanoma.

My co-workers now consist of around ten women (I say around because all of them are never in the office at once). I am the only guy on the team. However, the small team makes it feel rather homey. There are inside jokes and “Fat Fridays”. Everyone is more than nice and willing to do whatever anyone else needs of them.

As IMPACT Melanoma is expanding nationally, I have been tasked with a variety of different jobs. From creating sponsorship deals to scouring the country for sunscreen dispenser locations, I have been pretty busy.

Overall, my two internship experiences have been vastly different. From the location, to the office environment, to the work I do, the two companies couldn’t be more opposite.

Having these contrasting experiences has allowed me to appreciate each one in different ways. I can enjoy the hustle and bustle of a $20 billion/year tech company and the friendliness of a small non-profit. I also feel more confident in my ability to adapt to any office setting that I may be thrust into after graduation.

The diversity of these two experiences has helped me to become the flexible person that I wish to be.