Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Easier done than said

            Since May 20th, I’ve been working in Boston for a startup that provides a food waste tracking system that helps food businesses track, review, and reduce their waste. I want to dedicate this first blog post to a short story of what I experienced during my first week at this internship, because it reflects how exciting and sometimes crazy working at a startup can be.

            I arrived to my first day of work, and while I was being on-boarded and getting to meet the COO and CMO, the CEO called for a meeting. The meeting was to prepare for a Food Waste Fair in NYC that was happening in two days. Coincidentally, one team member could not make it to the fair, so the team offered me to join them on this trip to NYC. I was still not knowledgeable about the company and its services, but I said yes looking to give a good impression and learn along the way.

            Two days later, I was in a car to NYC with my 3 bosses who I had recently met going to a fair where we were going to pitch a business that I was just getting to know. I was nervous at the beginning, but it turned out to be an amazing experience. When we arrived at the fair, the team told me to watch how they pitched the business to attendees and other businesses. After 15 minutes, they gave me the opportunity to start pitching myself!

            Turns out that trying to explain a business to strangers is a very effective way to jump into a job. Having to figure out ways to respond to questions with the limited information that I had but with the support of more experienced team members was very effective at teaching me everything about the business. When the fair ended 8 hours later, I had not only learned most the relevant information about this 3-year-old company, but also became much more proficient at pitching.

            For me, this experience was just the beginning of how working on a startup involves learning how to do things while you do them rather than doing things that you have learned how to do.