2015-2016 Startup Internship Award winner, supported by the Sutton Entrepreneurial Intern Fellowship fund
This past summer, I interned at LoanNow, a fintech startup that is in the P2P lending space (think LendingClub). I got this opportunity through the job listing on a student listserv. After sending over my resume, I went through three rounds of interviews (one with Wharton alum Harry Langenberg and another with a Wharton alum Jesse Stockwell) and received an offer. A Wharton upperclassman interned at LoanNow last summer, so I was able to talk to her about her internship experience and also learned more about the culture of the firm.
During this internship, I had the opportunity to work for LoanNow, its portfolio company Supermoney (a review and research platform for personal finance products, think Yelp for personal finance), and also its parent company Optima Tax Relief. Most of my main responsibilities as an intern for LoanNow revolved around marketing. In particular, I was working on search engine optimization. In order to improve the efficiency of the overall SEO process, I wrote an automation script that drastically boosted the efficiency. For Optima Tax Relief, I worked with a senior PM on creating a data analytics report for the payment team. In order to complete the task, I had to learn how to use Tableau, a data visualization software. In terms of my responsibilities as an intern for Supermoney, I mostly worked on the product development front. Through market research of the competitors as well as the different personal finance product verticals, I worked with the CEO and built up the attribute sets and recommendation engine for each vertical. Moreover, I managed the data collection process for the database. There was also a business development element involved in my work as I reached out to some companies that were featured on Supermoney and established partnership with them for the affiliate program.
My internship experience at LoanNow was very hands-on and I was able to learn a lot (and play ping pong everyday!). What’s more, there was a lot of flexibility in the projects that I was working on, which might be one of the perks of working at a startup. My supervisors were all very receptive to my ideas and I was given the time and resources to work on my ideas (for instance, the automation project for SEO was initiated by me). In spite of the flexibility, I was still able to get help from my coworkers or supervisors whenever I had questions or concerns. I really enjoyed LoanNow’s culture, and I feel like the work-life balance might be a big consideration for my future career path. Also, I learned more in depth about the fintech industry from this internship, and I believe it has huge potential for growth in the future.
For underclassmen seeking internship at startups in the future, I would encourage them to be proactive and reach out to companies that they are interested in working for. Company websites, Pennlink listings, and student listserv are all great resources that they should utilize. Cold-emailing can be really effective, especially in the startup world.
Overall, I really enjoyed my internship experience at LoanNow. Thanks to the Wharton Entrepreneurship Intern Fellowship for the support!