“Go across the street and pick up some food for the event tonight!” “Could you organize these closets?” “Edit this excel spreadsheet, would ya?”
I had been tasked with all of these classic “intern duties” at each of my previous Drexel Co-ops. But my most recent job at PromptWorks was much different.
I started my third and final Co-op this March. I had completed two co-ops previously, so I knew what I was signing up for. However, my experience at PromptWorks has blown me away.
Working at PromptWorks has given me incredible knowledge about how yet another industry operates. Not only have I gained knowledge on how tech startups function, but have also learned more of the ins and outs of business operations as a whole. In my other co-op experiences, I’d only been exposed to surface level knowledge. Here, I’ve experienced day-to-day operations in addition to having the opportunity to sit in on “big picture” conversations.
I would like to shed some light on the two most valuable things I’ve learned at PromptWorks.
Office Culture is Huge
Of all the places I’ve worked, not just my two previous co-ops, PromptWorks has had the most employee-friendly atmosphere. A lot of companies let their employees’ personal lives go by the wayside. At PromptWorks, I’ve found that the founders employ unique strategies to keep a solid work/life balance.
While they highly encourage us to come into the office everyday, they are very understanding when something comes up outside of the office. We are given work-from-home days that allow us flexibility to work remotely. Everyone has outside obligations, illnesses, or experiences unexpected events that keep them at home, but work-from-home days allow employees to take care of outside obligations without having to take time off and potentially fall behind in work.
Not only are they a flexible bunch, but they’re also very forward-thinking. PromptWorks is very creative surrounding employee engagement, both as a large group and individually. Here are a few examples:
- 1-On-1’s. Each employee has a “coach” who serves as a mentor. They meet once every two weeks. These check-ins can serve whatever purpose the mentee desires. Whether it be how they’re feeling about the work atmosphere/environment or just want a safe space to talk, these 1-on-1’s serve several functions.
- Talk Tuesdays. Every employee has a chance to give a talk on something new they’re learning about and/or working on. The function of this is to give the rest of us a taste of what other people are working on. It increases transparency and, in-turn, closeness.
- Stand-ups. Extremely brief meetings (5-10 mins max) for project teams to check-in daily on progress. A great way for everyone to be on the same page all the time.
Each of these contribute to the “feel” of the office in different, but positive, ways.
Experimentation is good
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
In addition to all these things, I’ve learned an incredible amount about how to build industry presence from the ground up. Working at a startup is the best way to see how this happens firsthand. We recently started a new promotion tactic and being a part of that team has been a great learning experience. I love to see what’s working and what can be improved upon.
The entire process is dynamic and keeps us on our toes. In addition to promotion, I’ve been able to see an idea go from inception to reality by being a part of the product team. The one thing I couldn’t underestimate enough was how much research has to go into developing a product. Not only do you need to identify existing (and emerging) markets, but you have to experiment with as many scenarios as you can imagine. Testing, development, investor pitches, etc–I’ve had the amazing opportunity of being able to see how they are developed. All of the knowledge I’ve gained is no doubt from PromptWorks allowing me to learn from experience.
I’ve been involved in so many steps of so many unique processes, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.