Published: Sept. 5, 2018

Last spring, we kicked off a pilot fellowship program immersing MBA students in academic and hands-on experiences unique to growth-stage companies. Over the summer, these High Growth Venture (HGV) fellows interned with startups all over the country for invaluable experience behind the scenes of a growing startup.

We captured some highlights and experiences from two of our interns below, and in future posts, we’ll go more in-depth with each student and their internship venture. Billy worked with JumpCloud here in Boulder, and Carlos worked with Avivar Capital in Los Angeles.

What did you learn?

  • Billy: I learned a lot about the SaaS industry and the various concepts around Identity Management and Directory-as-a-Service. I spent a lot of time assisting with marketing and sales performance optimization. This required a lot of data analysis around marketing spend and customer behavior, both pre and post-purchase of the product. I was also fortunate enough to work with the team on topics around pricing analysis and database management.

  • Carlos: I conducted due diligence for potential early-stage equity investments, performed CAMEL analyses for non-profit lenders and CDFIs, did impact portfolio quarterly reporting, researched entrepreneurship ecosystems, learned about new financing mechanisms for social enterprises (such as Program Related Investments), collaborated with folks in Israel and got to learn about the region's banking and VC sectors.

Were you challenged?

  • Billy: Yes, I was definitely challenged, especially as I became more involved with various projects and worked with more and more people at the company. It was a little slower start as I spent a lot of time learning about the product and the way the business operates, but things really picked up when I was able to understand the data and derive insights that were impactful on the business.

  • Carlos: Yes, definitely. A lot was expected of me in terms of running projects, conducting analyses leading to investment decisions, and managing client relationships with top individuals at nonprofits and foundations.

Did you have fun?

  • Billy: It was definitely a fun work environment, especially as I began to make more meaningful relationships with my coworkers. It's nice to work with a fun group of people that are all really good at what they do. I think it's the people that have a strong impact on your experience during an internship and having a good team to lean on can be a huge benefit.

  • Carlos: I did! It was hard work, but the team is great and I learned a lot from them. We also had fun out of office retreats like going to comedy clubs, guest speaker lunch & learns, and world cup game watches!

What was the most valuable experience?

  • Billy: Towards the end of my internship, I was able to lead a project that required a lot of different input from coworkers and would ultimately impact that way that decisions are made based on data. Assessing the various requirements of the project and performing an in-depth cost benefit analysis based on the value the project would provide was incredible experience. My involvement with the project allowed me to gain a lot of exposure with the executive team and enabled me to gain an understanding of how the business would continue to evolve and grow.

  • Carlos: Getting an insider's perspective of the emerging impact investing field. I got to "look under the hood" and now have a much deeper understanding of the sector.

Stay tuned for more updates from our inaugural HGV cohort!

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