2012-2013 AMBASSADOR OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Cai Entrepreneurial Intern Fellow
How did you find the position?
What was your motivation for working at a start-up this summer?
Understand China’s internet start-up environment and gain experience to leverage for own start-up
What advice would you give to students interested in working at a start-up this summer?
Talk to people in the target industry and start networking as soon as possible
About the internship experience
Last summer, I interned at Umeng, a Beijing-based mobile analytics start-up. Umeng is a pioneer in mobile analytic services in China. It was founded in 2010 by Fan Jiang, a former engineer of Google China, and has been continuously supported by Innovation Works, a leading Chinese incubator founded by Kai-Fu Lee, a former senior executive of Google.
Umeng was about to raise the next round of capital when I started my internship, so I assisted the CEO of Umeng mostly with strategy and financing. On strategy, Umeng was re-examining its business model and I helped identify potential revenue sources and design growth strategies. On financing, Umeng hired a financial advisory firm to manage the process; therefore, I worked closely with the external advisor to revise its business plan and fund raising strategy.
The internship enriched my entrepreneurial management knowledge. Through applying what I learned at Wharton in practical setting, I came to know which tools are more relevant in China’s business environment. In addition, working at Umeng also allowed me to better understand the mobile sector in China and build network within the local start-up community. The local insights and local connections will be helpful for me to generate venture ideas and put together a strong team in the future.
My second internship was with The Honest Co. in Los Angeles. The Honest Co is also an early-stage, ecommerce company that produces non-toxic, eco-friendly, organic, baby and household products on a subscription model. At Honest, I worked on a myriad of projects and worked cross-functionally with every team. My official role was in Strategy Planning and Operations and I basically focused on increasing margins with the freedom to come up with any creative recommendation I could think of. I looked at everything from product costs to warehouse box SKU’s. By the end of my summer, I had made at least 3 recommendations to the founders that were approved and implemented before I left. I also set up a business partnership and even made a few user interface design changes to their backend software.
What I loved about my summer internships was the freedom to work on virtually any project and the ability to make a meaningful impact in any part of the business. It was both terrifying and exciting but exactly what I was looking for from a start-up internship. When you’re put into an early-stage, start-up setting where every decision could make or break the company, you learn to be much more confident and to quickly pick up any learning or skillset necessary to make it work.