Veem’s internship program opens doors for young professionals
October 1, 2019
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Can interns benefit from startup life?
At a startup, things are constantly changing. Especially in the tech industry, startups can challenge everything you think you know about business. For that reason, Veem recognizes that experience isn’t everything. We’re interested in leadership, determination, and above all, a willingness to learn and grow.
What is an intern?
An internship is a short-term opportunity for students who are seeking practical, hands-on education within a workplace. Internships are great options for students looking for experience, school credits, and even sometimes pay. An internship can often lead to a permanent position with the startup or else a solid letter of recommendation.
Our internship program is a foot in the door to say the least. We’re constantly seeking energetic people to interact with and learn from our diverse team. We work with entry level individuals to support our team and learn the ropes of our booming industry in an array of departments.
Though just getting started, Veem’s Internship Program has already hosted two amazing students, Grace LaChance and Shilvaan Patel, who did a ton of work for the marketing and data teams in their short time at Veem.
Fortunately, Grace was available for an interview before she went off to university in Toronto.
Welcome to the team
Grace participated in the Veem Internship Program during the summer months of 2019. In completing her summer internship with Veem, she has agreed to share her experiences, and some insights into the working environment and culture.
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Grace just so happened to be seeking some extra work during the summer when she was introduced to the opening. She then submitted her resume without knowing too much about the position, or Veem for that matter.
Before signing on, she had heard rumors about what it means to work for a startup. They included needing to be adaptable, and full of energy. Of course, the job fluctuates based on what is needed, and when.
What makes for a great fit?
Grace subscribes to a philosophy that challenges pigeonholing oneself. She’s all about stepping outside of her comfort zone. A martial arts teacher and a local celebrity for her singing and songwriting talents (the Veem team had the privilege of attending a single release), Grace prides herself on her ambition to explore the unfamiliar.
She’s also a recent high school grad entering a political science degree in Toronto. While these skills and interests aren’t exactly related to Veem or her role, Grace’s growth mindset and willingness to learn made her a perfect fit among our marketing team. As she says, “how am I supposed to grow if I’m always in the same place, with the same mindset all the time?”
Challenges in the startup space
Grace understood that an internship role doesn’t come with many guidelines. Without a singular or specific task, she admits it’s easy to fall off track: “Being an intern means observing the process. You can’t run before you walk.”
Growing up, you hear a lot about the importance of teamwork, collaboration, and being a team player. Veem is constantly changing. Startups are notorious for this. Before she started, Grace understood that she would need to be adaptable, cooperative, and able to work within a team.
“I had never really seen that in play before. Working here enforced that way more. Especially with cross-collaboration, working with other departments. Observing these attitudes gave me a better idea about what that can do in an actual workplace.”
The role of the intern
While interns typically get a bad rep – being the coffee carriers, taking the fall for others, receiving no instructions – Veem respects and welcomes our interns as true employees, and as a part of the Veem Team.
Grace entered Veem as an intern, knowing that her role may shift, and tasks definitely would. She quickly accepted the challenge of having to adjust to fluctuation.
For the most part, however, her role focused on search engine optimization (SEO).
In that, she interacted with our entire marketing team, including writers, SEO specialists, and the graphics team. Although she’s had experience making ads in her music career, she wasn’t familiar with SEO.
“It’s a given that as an intern, I can help with anything that anyone needs help with, but that is a very simplistic answer. Working as an intern goes beyond delegated tasks. It’s more a question of, what are the small day-to-day tasks I can do that will be of value. That said, before you can know how you can be of use, you have to know the company’s values and priorities.”
Grace had a lot to say here.
“Veem’s company culture is collaborative, highly adaptive, innovative but also results-oriented and ultimately, engaging. Veem provides a work environment for idealists and realists, which are both important. Realists will maintain and preserve a company, but idealists will push for growth.”
We’re big on communication. “No matter who I was working with, they were always really good at explaining things. You have to ask questions too though. Sitting in on meetings was very helpful. I’ve never had a meeting where I’m observing something that I don’t necessarily understand the whole context. Everyone in the department has different leadership strengths and qualities. You learn what makes an effective leader firsthand. Here, I learned, ‘Oh, that’s what that means.’”
On our c-levels and upper management:
“I think it’s an amazing company and that everyone is fantastic. Everyone is so good at what they do. The company is only getting better and better at building trust among their team as competent workers with direct communication with upper management.”
“As an intern, it’s rare to interact and talk with senior management. In a startup like Veem, you get to observe the way they work and learn from them directly. You don’t usually get the chance to observe that dynamic in other workspaces.”
On our leaders:
“Our leadership has been amazing at communicating their requests. It was always concise which has reinforced the importance of being a good communicator. It’s business vocabulary it’s been a privilege to be immersed in that.
“In the experiences I’ve had, everyone has been very straightforward with what they want from me. Everyone was a leader.”
Key takeaways of Veem’s internship program
“Veem’s amazing management provided a full-picture view of all delegated tasks with supportive energies.”
By witnessing the flow of work and business management, Grace collected a variety of skills that she hopes to keep in her back pocket for the future.
“I think it’s important to do things outside of your wheelhouse of expertise. I never thought I would be in an atmosphere of both business and tech. But that will really help me in the future. It’s helped me understand a professional workspace. The more experience, the better. I might not have had this opportunity at all until after receiving a three-year university degree. So to have that now going into school, a lot of questions are answered.”
Advice for future interns
Grace was an all-star intern. Humble in her ability to master tasks quickly, yet eager to learn and grow. Grace came to Veem with energy and determination to help with the tasks delegated to her. Our team certainly appreciates her hard work.
Grace reflected on the challenges she encountered when joining our team. She noted that there are an endless amount of tasks that you can do as an intern to help support your team, regardless of how long you’ll be around.
“As an intern, you should also be focused on what you can do to be of value. Your initial challenge shouldn’t be self-discipline or developing a strong work ethic, as you should already have both.”
“At the end of the day you end up learning something that you never thought you’d do.”
“You learn task management and how to prioritize. You can’t be really good at everything, but the challenge is being able to seek out where you can be of value.”
Out of the frying pan
While we asked Grace what we could do to keep her, her compass is set. She’s off to begin her journey at the University of Toronto in political science, just to add on to her many skills and interests.
Although we’re ecstatic for Grace’s fresh endeavors, we’re always eager to keep in touch. Our internship program can kickstart an excellent career with Veem and can be a gateway into workforce. If you’re looking to get your foot in the door of business technology or to observe the energetic and dynamic startup universe, we’d love to meet you.
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