Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Final Reflection: Startups and MassChallenge

As the summer comes to a close, it is important to look back on the time spent working at your internship. I began reflecting on my time at MassChallenge when talking with my boss at lunch one-day last week. He asked if I felt my time with him at MassChallenge was worth giving up valuable days in one of my final summer breaks. I replied with a simple yes. He then proceeded to ask me if I thought I would continue with startups to which I replied no. This summer has truly taught me I want to go in a more corporate direction. Taking the time to do this internship was worth it to me to determine that I no longer want to work with startups. Looking back, in my dealings with startups, there were always problems or miscommunications that simply should not happen in a professional working environment. Founders are often late to meetings, and when they do show up, they come unprepared. A large part of my job at MassChallenge was bridging the gap between startups and the resources MassChallenge offered to them. To help with this, we asked startup founders to fill out a simple feedback survey. Most did not even do that correctly. They either did not read the directions, reported false data, or submitted blank forms. Many of the required forms and check-in information MassChallenge requires startups to fill out was, also, done improperly or not submitted altogether. This turned many tasks from helping startups into nagging startups and trying to figure out how they filled out the form vs how it was supposed to be filled out. These were important lessons for me to learn. Now I can better focus my internship for next summer to something that more quench my thirst for professionalism.