Somil Govani ENG’20 interned at Twine Labs in Philadelphia, PA

2016-17 Startup Internship Award Winner supported by the Jeff Sutton W’81 Entrepreneurship Internship Fund

I’ve been interested in computer science and technology for a long time. Through my coursework and research endeavors at Penn, I developed an appreciation for the theoretical and technical aspects of engineering and software. However, it soon became apparent that I was looking for something that would put these interests in the context of the real-world. I was looking for something fast-paced and world-changing, yet still reminiscent of the beauty of computation. I was looking for Twine Labs.

Ironically enough, prior to working at Twine, I had no idea what the phrase “B2B” even meant. This wouldn’t be so bad, but it turns out Twine itself was a B2B company. Twine Labs is an HR tech startup that aims to create intelligent software to advance internal mobility at large companies. My role was full stack engineering; in particular, I built the recruiter-facing web application helped recruiters choose the most viable internal talent for new requisitions. And at first, I was content with believing that honing my web development skills would be the only thing I would aim to do. However, by finding myself in a startup’s environment, I began to learn about the most efficient practices to develop high quality products and I also gained a lot of exposure to the business-related under workings that I definitely wouldn’t have seen in any engineering classes. There is something truly amazing about seeing the things you’ve learned come into fruition in real life and make an impact.

Furthermore, if there’s one thing that you will never feel through the startup experience, it’s boredom. If you find yourself with nothing to do or a task that’s too mundane, chances are that you’re doing it wrong. During my time at Twine, I was able to make a lot of key decisions about how to implement a particular solution and when I saw fit I could make the improvements and audits necessary for a better product. There were many times when I felt that I was able to make meaningful contributions to various aspects of the company.

Finally, one of the most serendipitous outcomes of my time with Twine was the community I was able to develop. For one, I was fortunate enough to work in one of the tech capitals of the world in Silicon Valley. Here I met some outstanding engineers and visionaries; it was truly a pleasure to be around such brilliant and like-minded people. Moreover, Twine Labs was a small team of 5 people; as a result, by the end of the summer we grew more close knit than ever and were able to grow in a collaborative way. As I continue my endeavors of the future, I will always continue to perpetuate the mentalities and experiences I was able to take away from Twine.