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After connecting with alums Mark '71 and Harriet Lehman '72, Kirsten Brodeen '20 landed a position as an entrepreneurship intern at Upshoot LLC, a portfolio company.
Internship title and location:
Entrepreneurship intern, Upshoot LLC.
How I got this internship:
I got this internship through Dickinson alums Mark '71 and Harriet Lehman '72. They offer this internship annually to a Dickinson student.
What I do, day to day:
My routine varies depending on the day. I usually start the mornings off by reviewing any ongoing tasks and then ask my mentor whether the team has any meetings or projects I can join or assist with. Since we’re a startup, there’s always a project or two that could use some additional hands and always something new to learn. Thus far, I’ve worked on projects ranging from social media development and product testing to packaging and supply-chain logistics to even naming the company! I also spend a chunk of the day working on my specific project—designing a social responsibility program or collaborating with the other interns on a joint product development proposal.
Most valuable part of this experience:
The most valuable part of this internship has been the exposure into the vibrant dynamics of a corporate startup. Working in this setting has allowed me to explore various work across several departments and gain invaluable knowledge on the process and challenges related to launching a business. It also has provided me with mentorship opportunities with seasoned professionals—including a Dickinson alum! I am very grateful for this opportunity.
This is actually my fifth internship. Before Dickinson, I took a gap year on the State Department’s Congress Bundestag Youth Vocational Exchange to Germany, where I split a year interning in global finance at Commerzbank and then in marketing and business development for a startup nonprofit. Since then, I’ve also interned for Congressman Jared Polis, Colorado’s current governor and another nonprofit, India Transformed!, where I had the opportunity to travel to our sites in India. Completing a variety of internships ranging in sizes, fields and even countries helped me refine my career aspirations.
Advice for students considering internships:
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Apply to many internships and don’t be too upset or concerned if you don’t hear back from 90% of the internships you apply to online—all you need is the right one! Don’t be afraid to be bold and contact an organization you like to see if there’s a position available. Take advantage of every opportunity and resource available—whether it be a project, meeting, lunch or seemingly pointless task—just say yes! It’ll lead to more opportunities down the road. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and reach out to your coworkers when you need help. It’s better to be open and ask now rather than be wrong later. It shows you’re willing to go the extra mile!
How this internship has helped me:
There has been a huge learning curve with this internship. It immersed me in the process and complexity of launching a business and helped me understand the progression of transforming ideas from first-level talks into strategic, high-level processes. This setting has sparked a greater desire to learn and challenge myself, and it helped me become more adaptable and flexible. While my liberal-arts education has provided the foundation for these skills, this opportunity helped me translate them from theoretical skills to practical knowledge. Working for an alum has also helped me realize the value of the Dickinson experience and alumni network.
Dickinson’s emphasis on a global education mixed with my overseas experiences and internships has reaffirmed my desire to have a global business career. While I’m still figuring out how to get there and where I want to work, I hope to one day be leading a socially responsible organization.
Learn more about internships at Dickinson.
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Published September 6, 2019