James Feuereisen (C’15/W’15), interned at Ampush Media, San Francisco, CA
How did you find the position?
I knew one of the founders as he went to my high school, however I discovered my internship position through a listing on their website.
What was your motivation for working at a start-up this summer? (i.e., industry experience, experience to leverage for own start-up, career changer, etc.)
I wanted to see first-hand how one can execute well to create a growing and sustainable business as well as diversify my experiences.
What advice would you give to students interested in working at a start-up this summer?
Find a startup where you really like employees and where you feel you will be able to learn a lot to help advance your entrepreneurial career.
I spent my summer working at Ampush out in San Francisco, which was an absolutely fantastic experience. Ampush is very well known among the Penn community given that the founders are undergrad alums, and have remained very active with Penn. In fact, every batch of interns they’ve had has always had Penn students. Moreover, every summer Ampush also hosts students from the Leadership in the Business World program, which was great to help coordinate, and was in fact the place where the founders all met nearly 13 years ago.
Since its founding in 2009, Ampush has grown leaps and bounds to now being one of the premier Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer, Facebook’s highest tier of ad API partners, and serving multiple Fortune 500 clients. The company has pivoted along the way, though Jesse and the entire team have had a laser focus on empowering companies to best leverage social media to scale their operations and acquire new users.
Given their special status, I’ve known Ampush since Freshman year, and always had a ton of respect for their team and business. Moreover, I knew one of the founders personally as he and I went to the same high school back in Michigan. In fact, I considered applying to work there the summer after my freshman year, though I ended up deciding to work at home in Michigan. Yet this summer, I knew I wanted to work for a startup in the Bay, so as soon as I saw an opening for summer internships on their site, I immediately applied. Fortunately several rounds of interviews later, I had an offer to work to Ampush, which made me incredibly excited.
My primary role at Ampush was as a client strategist intern. The Client Strategy team was focused on helping clients formulate their plan to execute advertisements on Facebook using the Ampush platform once they have decided to sign with Ampush. Further, we would help clients during the campaign process itself by reporting key information to them as well as intervening whenever issues arose. In my role, I helped with this strategic execution, while also creating content to share with clients on the Facebook ad ecosystem and how it can best be leveraged in campaigns. Further, I assisted in the data analysis process and used it to make recommendations to our clients on how to improve their campaigns. I also helped a lot with improving the workflow of the team such as by writing a series of documentation explaining protocols as well as certain technical knowledge that was not centralized in one place. Finally, I had the opportunity on numerous occasions to sit on directly on calls with their clients, which was very rewarding as I got to see the client strategist in action and how they dealt with a range of situations.
Fortunately though, my work did not end there. In fact, this is the beauty of a startup. Rather than spending an entire summer doing one narrow task (which doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing), I had the opportunity to work on many other teams, a lot of which was self-initiated by me. I had both a desire to expand my horizon and learn about new parts of the business, as well as help out in as many ways as possible to grow the business.
During the summer I was able to do serious work in sales, marketing, business development, and PM, all of which were incredibly educations and rewarding experiences.
Beyond the internship itself, it was incredibly rewarding to be able to explore San Francisco and the entire Bay Area. Never before, have I had the chance to immerse myself in a place where so many people share the same ethos as me; all techies in the Bay more or less share the common mindset that any brilliant individual with a solid team, product-market fit, and execution strategy, and a bit of luck, can build a highly successful company. And this is awesome. Moreover, the Bay simply is fun—the weather is perfect and there are so different ways to entertain oneself when not at work. Plus, there were so many Penn students interning there that I always had people to meet with. Of course, as everyone whose lived/worked there knows, housing was certainly a pain to deal with, but that didn’t stop the fun.
I had an unbelievable experience working at Ampush and I am so glad that Wharton Entrepreneurship was able to be part of my summer.