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Want Real Experience? Work For A Startup

I wasn’t sure what to expect for my first co-op or even what I wanted. As a communications and media studies major, I scoured the Northeastern co-op database looking at any position in either of those fields. Throughout the fall, I applied for companies big and small, ranging in all different industries from law firms to daily news sites. 

One of the companies on my list was a Boston-based software startup called Lambent. But I was quite hesitant to work for a company focused on cutting-edge software – I had no familiarity with AI or machine learning.

However, during my interview, I was told that I would be able to have a hands-on role and be put to work, and as a college sophomore, I was hungry for the challenge. 

Six months later, I’m so happy that I made the decision to work for Lambent. I have been able to learn more about the tech space and market as well as gain valuable or real-world experience that I wouldn’t have at a larger company. 


SOME BENEFITS OF STARTUP INTERNSHIPS:


  • Exposure to the C- suite – At larger companies, there are many layers between a co-op and a CEO but at Lambent, the C-suite is working at the bench directly beside everyone else. Their accessibility made it easy to float content ideas to them, ask for expert opinions on industry topics, and even chat about career opportunities. It should be noted that Lambent Things has a female founder, an extra inspiration for me.
  • Name recognition at company meetings – Company “Shout Outs” are a regular part of our All Hands meetings each month. At our April meeting, I received a shoutout from someone outside my department for my blogs and social posts. It’s nice to know that the sales directors and BDRs actually read my blogs and reference them to customers.
  • Immediate impact – One of the most rewarding aspects of my experience has been seeing the social media channels grow significantly. Thanks to a Wordle ad on Twitter that I helped curate, our Twitter account saw a 20,000% increase in impressions in the month of April! During my 6 month co-op, I learned to create a social media calendar and since we are a small team, it was my job to own the posts end to end. That means writing, scheduling, posting, and measuring the success of my posts. 
  • Daily 1:1s with a Senior Manager – For me, this might be the most significant difference from working at a big company. I was able to benefit from mentoring from an experienced Senior Marketing Manager. She has guided me through marketing campaigns, PR releases, and paid social media campaigns as well as given me additional career advice. I’ve learned so much from her about the marketing world, but also the corporate world in general. 

Startups come with a lot of challenges, and every day is different. The benefit for a co-op and intern is that they are thrown right into the action. My time with Lambent may end in the next few months, but the knowledge and skills I have gained will follow me throughout the rest of my professional career.

Alex Trotto contributes to the Blog and Social Media channels for Lambent. She is currently a Northeastern University student in her sophomore year.

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