Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Applying Organization Values as an Intern

On July 18th, MassChallenge hosted their first Companywide All Hands. Together, all the employees and interns came together, both in person and virtually. One topic of discussion, beyond company updates and messages from the executive team, was a reminder of MassChallenge’s 5 key values: Help Entrepreneurs Win, Impact Now, Own It, Team Up and Be Genuine. This was reiterated in the PULSE team’s three day strategy meetings that followed, was that everyone has their own ways of defining these values, but the core intent and meaning behind each remains the same for all. As a summer intern, I am only part of this organization for a concentrated, short period of time. Therefore, it is important to ask myself, how do these values apply to me and how do I fit into the larger organization, when I’m just an intern who will leave at the end of the summer.

Working for a nonprofit organization like PULSE@MassChallenge (MassChallenge’s Digital Health Vertical Accelerator), creates an inevitable passion and investment in the program. My desire to contribute to the greater impact created by MassChallenge has resulted in a shift in mindset from the short-term of a summer intern to the long-term of a full-time employee or consultant.

Keeping these values in mind, through collaborating with a diversity of minds and being transparent, I would be able to empower myself in my role, maximizing the impact I can have on improving the program and helping startups. Applying these values allowed me to think of how I can contribute beyond the confines of my position and take advantage of the flexible nature of a small-sized organization.

Taking this shift into the strategy meeting was my first effort to apply the organization’s values to myself. I didn’t realize the significance at the time until my manager asked if I read her shout out in the “Wins of the Week” email sent out to the MassChallenge staff and interns. Later that night I went to Outlook and read the following, “Own It. Did you notice another intern really owning a project this week? ‘@Nicole Yapijakis stepped up in the PULSE Strategy meetings, speaking up and sharing valuable feedback and input. In a situation where it would be easy to stay quiet, Nicole’s confidence and willingness to contribute allowed her to add real value and take ownership of improving MassChallenge’s digital health strategy for 2019.”’

This demonstrated that aligning my values with that of my organization you work, allowed me to not only enjoy work more, and feel more involved, but create more impact now. These changes in mindset and actions received recognition and greater opportunities for contribution.