5 takeaways from a Summer Start-up Internship

Meet Navya Gudimetla, our Fall 2019 Creative Content Officer

As June comes to an end, I’m left wondering how I’m already halfway into my summer and I still haven’t eaten at all the best taco places in San Antonio (SA). If you’re wondering why I’m in SA, I am interning at a cybersecurity start-up downtown called Jungle Disk. To be more precise, I’m working with TeamPassword, a password manager which is a part of Jungle Disk’s suite of services, as a pricing and finance intern. 

This opportunity has made me realize how important internships are in order to find out what you’re truly passionate about. In this blog article, I’ll be talking about a few takeaways from my experience working at a start-up!

  • Working at a start-up is very different from a corporate experience

Yeah, there are the obvious differences – like the fact that you don’t need to wear a blazer and tie to work everyday. Or the fact that being at a start-up means you have the ability to interact with anyone in the organization more easily. The fact of the matter is, as an intern at a start-up you get to wear many hats. Over the course of my experience here, I’ve not only done some number crunching, but I’ve also gotten to conduct market research, design thinking, and be a mentor. Jungle Disk selects a few high school interns every year to gain experience in cybersecurity innovation. I have the opportunity to lead a group of high-schoolers through their very own project for 4 weeks and I have been looking forward to this since the start of my own internship!

  • With freedom, comes responsibility

Creative and intellectual freedom are so important to me. When I heard that I would be able to design my own experience as a part of my internship, I was intrigued. Although it’s easy to get carried away with having that kind of freedom, I realized how important it is to stay organized. Setting goals and reminders, scheduling check-ins with your supervisor, and maintaining a check-list are essential towards tracking your progress. Feeling lost at work is normal, but it’s important to bounce back, ask questions and to always work towards a better you. It’s important to realize that everyone around you cares about your growth, and that as an intern, you can make a difference in this vibrant, entrepreneurial environment – all you need to do is speak up at an appropriate time.

  • Collaborating with your peers is more important than you think

I have six other interns working with me and without them my experience wouldn’t be the same. Since you’re constantly around these people and they’re going through a similar experience, you get close quickly. It’s so important to build these friendships, because you grow with and learn from these people throughout the course of your internship. 

  • It isn’t all ping pong and snacks

Okay, a start-up internship does entail a lot of ping pong and yummy snacks – but there is so much more to the experience than this common stereotype. I work at a co-working space called Geekdom and I have exciting opportunities at my fingertips. From technology workshops and real-time product pitches to ping-pong tournaments, I have free access to a myriad of amazing networking experiences. Making the most out of your time in a start-up environment can be a great learning experience and a fruitful use of time. 

  • Being able to make a real impact

I bet my co-workers can agree with me on this but all of us have had the opportunity to see our ideas come to fruition. For example, I recently did some design thinking with Sarah, the Product Manager of TeamPassword, and I was able to help develop a solution for one of their customer accessibility issues in their web application. Making a real impact is so motivating and inspiring and it really gets me excited about the work that I’m doing.

I look forward to spending the rest of my summer at Jungle Disk. Checking out all the hole-in-the-wall places downtown and spending time on the Riverwalk has been keeping me busy too!

By: Navya Gudimetla

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