Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

A New Work Environment

Working at a startup in Los Angeles has changed the way I look at the work environment in the United States. The first day of my internship itself was extremely memorable, and this was because it was something out of the ordinary. On my first day, there was a welcome lunch and the entire office had lunch together from the CEO to part-time employees, which was extremely unique to me!

Saucey is a startup founded by three friends, and they chose to lead the company in a unique way. The office is designed to remove any kinds of barriers and seeks to eliminate hierarchies. There are no cubicles or personal offices. Each team has a large desk and all the team members sit together to improve efficiency. This seemed extremely unconventional, especially after looking at the work environment in India! Saucey promotes its employees to contribute to the company by active participation and therefore it uses Slack as the primary mode of communication. Through Slack, an employee is able to reach out to any other person in the company, and this has proven to help Saucey grow as a whole. This once again was extremely different from any previous work experience, and this was because I never imagined I would be communicating with my supervisor through a chat medium.

Conforming to the unconventional, employees are not given a dress code as the management wants to make sure workers are working in the most comfortable clothes. Similarly, employees are given gym memberships so that they are physically healthy too. Unlike several companies, Saucey makes sure the employees are happy at work and outside work so that they contribute to their utmost potential. Every Friday, there is a happy hour where employees play games which have helped create a good bond within the employees of the company. Apart from the multitude of things Saucey does that makes it unique, the small things such as having team lunches, celebrating birthdays and having a very open environment all make it a wonderful place to work in.

As an intern, I thought I would be limited in many ways and taken for granted. Although, one of the founders leads the product team and I have had the privilege of working directly with him on many projects. Unlike previous internships, I have actually worked on projects that are helping the company rather than being given the typical intern work that often goes to waste. Moreover, people from different teams have made sure I am occupied with good projects and have even offered to give me some of their work. This once again showed me how all the employees share a common goal and are all motivated and therefore want to ensure that I have a great summer with them. Before I began interning, I was extremely nervous and had many doubts about how the internship experience would be. Although, I have begun to see how the overall atmosphere here is extremely friendly and seeks to promote learning. Unlike a corporate workplace, Saucey has somewhat created its own community and this really helps create a positive environment for everyone to work in. The office always has music playing in the background, drawers stocked with snacks and an open bar; if a random person were to walk into the office they would probably think that this was a lounge! Over the past few weeks I have learned that when employees are satisfied and happy, their work output is often at the peak which in the end helps the company grow.

Interning over the past few weeks at Saucey has helped me adapt and embrace this new ‘startup’ work culture. I have successfully been convinced that having an informal work environment and reduced differences can often help a company positively. Saucey’s primary goal is to keep its employees extremely happy regardless of the costs they incur and this is to boost their efficiency. Interning in the United States has introduced me to a completely new work environment, something completely out of the ordinary!