I almost decided to not return to Wharton for my 2nd year. I made all of the appropriate phone calls, found out how to cancel my loans, and even scoped out apartments in NYC. Why? Not because I don’t love Wharton, but because I loved my summer internship at Venmo!
I could write an entire book about my summer, but here are the 3 main takeaways that I think will be helpful to 1st years and prospective students.
1) Find a product or brand that you absolutely love. I was obsessed with Venmo before I applied, and during the summer I once said, “I can’t wait to finish eating my lunch so that I can just get back to work!” Yes, I was THAT excited about working on Venmo. It’s possible.
2) Find a boss and team that will be your biggest advocate and prioritize your growth. I worked mostly for the co-founder of Venmo, Iqram, who is one of those rare people that sees value in everyone. He never got frustrated with my inability to code or my lack of knowledge in the mobile payments sector. Instead, he took the time to teach me and to help me become a more valuable team player. By the end of the summer, I knew how to run SQL queries, what it meant to “expose an endpoint,” and the ins and outs of the mobile payments space. The head of growth engineering, Staub, was also heavily invested in the growth and learning of his fellow colleagues. He organized weekly learning sessions focusing on the field of growth engineering. I looked forward to them every week even though they required us to get to the office earlier than usual. Totally worth it.
3) Find a culture that resonates with you. I love startups that allow me to wear jeans to work every day. I love startups that don’t judge me based on my age, gender, or love of chocolate milk. I love being friends with my coworkers. What do you love?
Esther S. Jang