By Camille Jwo C’17
This summer I had the pleasure of working as a tech intern for Slidejoy, an Android app that pays its users to replace their lockscreens with trendy advertisements and news articles. All they have to do is unlock their phones to redeem money. [Editor’s note: Slidejoy was founded by four Wharton alumni: Robert Seo, Sanghoon Kwak, Diana Kattan, and Jaeho Chung. It also won the Perlman Grand Prize in the 2014 Wharton Business Plan Competition!]
Working at the same table as the cofounders of the company every day really helped me gain insight into the reasoning behind how they were developing the product and the company. Although I was a technology intern and spent my time coding, I also got to listen to our CEO, Rob, go over marketing with the marketing interns and would sometimes pitch in my thoughts. Such an open environment made it easy to learn about every aspect of a start-up. Because I was working directly with the database analyst/web developer for the company, I was able to learn as much as possible about the code I was writing.
A start-up as small as Slidejoy, which has fewer than ten full time employees, concentrates on specific tasks. Even at a stage where the company is mainly focusing on growing its user base, it’s still all about quality over quantity. My work centered around one project that I was able to explore deeply, which really helped fortify my understanding of it.
Rob liked to talk about “hustling.” He was not referring to when a co-intern and I both said we were average bowlers and we ended up crushing the rest of the office. [tweetthis alt=”The #startup #hustle: ‘persistence and never losing sight of what you want’. via @WhartonEntrep” hashtag=”” url=”” ]He was talking about persistence and never losing sight of what you want[/tweetthis]. Just before I finished my internship, Slidejoy applied and was accepted to be featured on the Google Play store, which is an incredible breakthrough. The high visibility of this feature is just the type of goal that the team is always working towards. Through this, I learned how important it is to maintain loyalty to the vision you have.
This was an incredible experience because I got to see the real and tangible turning wheels behind a startup and understand more fully the intricate dynamics of independent roles interweaving to create a strong, functioning company. I’m not sure if it’s just because we got cake on our last day, but I left Slidejoy with the exhilarating feeling of having gained knowledge and experience all while having a great time.
Bio: Camille is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, dual majoring in Cognitive Science and Computer Science. She is a social captain and the treasurer of the Women’s Ultimate Frisbee team and tutors with West Philadelphia Tutoring Project. She loves cooking, baking, eating, and taking photos of it all.