As a high school student in Palo Alto and a lover of tech and travel, I am eager to gain valuable experience working in Silicon Valley. Earlier this year, I stumbled upon a travel tech startup called LoungeBuddy. Their product and mission so inspired me that I emailed them to inquire about an internship opportunity. You don't know if you don't try, right? Little did I know that it would lead to one of the most valuable experiences in my young adult life.
The company's CEO, Tyler Dikman, replied to my inquiry quickly, and after a few weeks of email correspondence, I landed my first-ever job interview. To my surprise, much of our discussion centered around our mutual love of travel, which was a departure from the typical interrogatory style interview I was expecting.
I was hired just in time for LoungeBuddy's “Friends and Family” party, where I got to meet the entire team, including those based in Australia, the UK, and the Czech Republic. Not long after my internship began, I quickly discovered three factors that make LoungeBuddy more than just an average startup.
A Culture of Feedback
All members of the LoungeBuddy team are encouraged to offer ideas and feedback. As an assistant office manager, I would make sure that everyone had an opportunity to contribute suggestions for things like supplies, snacks, and branded collateral. I learned that a culture of feedback enhances how an office operates.
A Pleasant Work Environment
Everybody wants to work in a fresh workspace nowadays. I saw firsthand how an organized, well-designed office boosts morale, stimulates creative thinking, and increases productivity. Part of my role was to keep the office neat and well stocked with goodies.
Bonding Outside the Office
Activities outside the office bring together people who don’t usually work side-by-side. I experienced this during the World Cup when I would head down the street to watch matches at lunch. After a while, co-workers would join me, which gave me a chance to learn more about them and about how they became LoungeBuddy employees.
Over time, I gained opportunities to learn more about the various functions of the company too. Jony, the Lead Designer, explained his design method. Garrett, Partner Operations Manager, described the progression of his career path from mechanical engineering to operations. Claire, Customer Service Lead, showed me the system she uses to manage customer requests. Oliver, Business Development Manager, taught me the basics of marketing. Nicole, Partner Success Manager in charge of check-in devices, even delegated critical tasks to me.
If I learned one thing this summer, it's that taking the initiative opens doors to new opportunities.
Thank you for a great summer, LoungeBuddy!
Loic Boehler-Bosch 2018, Intern.
Read more about my internship experience here.