Evangeline Giannopoulos C’18 interned at Negative Underwear in in New York City, NY

2016 Startup Internship Award Winner Supported by The Rosalind (WG’76) and Roy (WG’76) Neff Entrepreneurial Internship Fund

This past summer, I was a Customer Insights Intern at Negative Underwear (Negative).

I quite fortuitously discovered Negative. During the school year, I was a campus ambassador for another start-up called LOLA, a company founded by women, for women. I loved my experience working with LOLA. Largely due to its start-up nature, I felt the passion of LOLA founders and employees, an aura which was great to work within. Since at the time LOLA had literally just launched a few months ago, I really enjoyed the ownership over our projects and influence that us ambassadors had on the company. Finally, I appreciated the ability to work extremely closely with and get to know employees from all levels of the company, including the co-founders.

With this start-up and “by women, for women,” spirits, my fellow LOLA ambassadors and I organized a women in entrepreneurship panel. I met Marissa Vosper, co-founder of Negative, at this event as she was one of the panel speakers. Marissa mentioned that Negative has an internship program and that I should reach out to her when internship application season rolled around. I knew I wanted to follow up with Marissa on this offer – Negative shared a lot of qualities with LOLA that I discovered to love as an ambassador. Additionally, I felt interning at a start-up in a more “official” role for three months straight would be an intense learning experience from which I would gain a lot of exposure, different from any other experience I had had before.

My internship experience with Negative indeed met these expectations. When people ask me what I did with my internship, I often take a deep breath. It is not a simple answer. My first week, I started out analyzing customer data and making insights based off this data. I also learned some logistical procedures like order fulfillment. As the days and weeks went by, though, the data analysis project I started off with would evolve and I would take on more and more projects, learn more and more logistical procedures: developing a customer satisfaction survey, negotiating our shipping rates, pulling samples for shoot loans, managing our returns/exchange process, setting up for a trunk show, crafting email campaigns.

Beyond the work that I officially did, though, I was lucky to have two fantastic bosses as mentors and co-interns as friends. Our bosses would take us on staff outings to learn more about us and give life advice over tea. My co-interns and I would eat lunch together and help each other with struggles (that we didn’t want to approach our bosses about quite yet) through Gchat. I do not think going through this experience would have been possible – and definitely not as meaningful – without the care and support of our team. I know our bonds didn’t end on my last day, either.

With that, I would like to thank Negative for an awesome first internship experience and wonderful summer.

To students looking for similar experiences, I would recommend connecting with a start-up’s internal contacts whether through a panel event at Penn, an ambassador program, or an email directly to the company. Since start-ups are usually small and intimate, they are likely to respond to such direct leads. Keep in mind that start-ups don’t always advertise opportunities like internships, or at least not in an officially structured way – appropriate entrepreneurially, the process takes much more agency on your part. Good luck and feel free to reach out to me for advice 🙂