2016-2017 STARTUP INTERNSHIP AWARD WINNER SUPPORTED BY THE JEFF SUTTON W’81 ENTREPRENEURSHIP INTERNSHIP FUND
From the time I was selling candy from my locker in sixth grade, I knew that I was a startup kind of guy. After consulting for Emile, a local startup company that I worked with as part of my Consumer Behavior course with Professor Kathryn Wessling-Sharpe, I was even more convinced that this was the right path for me. Nazli, one of Emile’s co-founders, recommended I apply for the PSL Fellowship, and one month later, VeryApt brought me on board as a Rental Concierge Specialist.
I was initially going to be working directly with clients as an apartment concierge who would tour the properties with prospective renters as well as answer any questions, but my responsibilities evolved to having roles in marketing,technical matters, and front-end website development.
My main project was running our Google AdWords campaign where I was entrusted with structuring our new Chicago campaign as well as revamping the lagging Philadelphia campaign. The results were very encouraging as we oversaw a mammoth 527.4% increase in the number of clicks on our website as well as seeing our click-through-rate jump from an already respectable 5.89% to an even more impressive 9.37%. Although I started the summer with a marketing budget of only $750, our CEO Ashrit Kamireddi eventually trusted me with a whopping $6,000 per week! I was extremely happy that I was given responsibility over such a large sum of money, and I am even more pleased that the money was put to good use.
Though AdWords was my baby, I was also asked to help on a number of other projects. One of my prouder accomplishments was revamping our Neighborhood Guide UI by revising the type of information available as well as optimally structuring the pages. I also created over 100 new management company pages for our website as part of my work in inventory management. Along with a team of four other interns, we managed to increase overall website inventory by 6%. I was also asked to help train our outsourced employees, and that entailed creating instructional PowerPoints as well as being a point-man for live video support in case of unexpected errors.
This summer was a very enlightening one for me as I came to realize that marketing is my real passion in life, and that working for a startup is a wonderful option for people like me who want something more than the typical desk job. I was absolutely enchanted by how close everyone was in the office, and I became very close friends with my fellow interns. I would highly recommend that all of my peers at least consider working for a startup company. Though it may lack the prestige of Goldman or BCG, I found that working closely with both the company’s CEO and CTO, along with being handed a crucial role on the team, develops a number of important skills that will be useful in the coming years. Thank you for this opportunity!