We’ve been lucky enough to have some fantastic interns working with us this past summer. As a company trying to help young people better navigate their career paths, we strive to walk the talk by offering our interns with a meaningful experience that does not revolve around getting us coffee (we get our own ;-)).
We sat down with one of our interns to chat with her about her experiences with us as a summer intern and the value internships in general.
YouScience Team (YT): Thanks for chatting with us! Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you came to YouScience?
Cassie Vergel (CV): Of course! I was teaching in Hawaii and San Francisco before I came to Nashville for graduate school. Once in graduate school, I met Betsy Wills who told me about a new company she founded called YouScience. Once I heard its mission and about Latitude, I was hooked and knew I had to be apart of it.
YT: From teaching to a technology start-up is a bit of a leap, isn’t it?
CV: Kind of. But I had been immersed in Silicon Valley life before I moved here (since I WAS in San Francisco) and I was actually a Communication major with an emphasis in Digital and Social Media Technologies before I taught. I was a marketing intern at a law firm one summer and was a social media and community engagement intern for a lifestyle website while I was an undergraduate.
I also felt that YouScience incorporated what I believed in as a teacher with what I was interested in technology. For me, it was the perfect way to bring all of my experiences and interests together.
YT: So tell us a little bit about your work with YouScience over the summer as an intern and your experience.
CV: So this summer, I worked directly under Brad, the Chief Marketing Officer, helping him develop a social media strategy for YouScience. I also helped him with focus groups and got to participate in branding exercises. All completely new and exciting for me!
I also did whatever assignment was thrown at me. I told myself going into the internship that I was going to say “yes” to whatever assignment they gave me, even if the assignment was out of my comfort zone. Fortunately, for me, it meant that I got to dabble here and there in every department. I learned a little bit about sales, operations, and product development. I even got to step into the CEO’s shoes for a little bit while he and I discussed how to communicate YouScience’s vision and mission!
YT: Any words of advice or take aways for students starting to look for internships or maybe even may want to intern at YouScience?
CV: That’s a hard one! So many things to say! I guess if I had to condense it into three simple statements: 1.) Say yes 2.) Be an active listener 3.) Look for meaningful internships.
Regardless of when, how, or what you are interning for, as long as you find meaningful internships, the experience will pay off in the long run. If you like the internship, you’ll learn a lot about the company and the industry and get to network with amazing people. If you don’t like the internship, you’ll learn about what not to look for in the future.
Knowledge is power. Intern to stay ahead of the game and keep an ear to the ground. That way when you start looking for jobs, you’ll have an idea of who you are as a team member in an organization as well as what’s going on in the industry. That requires a lot of LISTENING. I can’t emphasize that enough. You’ll learn a lot when you just listen to what’s going on around you.
And of course – say yes to any and all assignments you know you can physically, even if it puts you outside of your comfort zone. I find that the projects that force me to do some research and sweat a little bit are the projects that I learn the most from.
Were you a summer intern? What was your experience like?
Want to intern at YouScience? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!