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As a business development intern for Mason Bottle, a mason jar baby bottle company fresh out of a successful Kickstarter, I was very excited and totally out of my zone. My previous summers had been science and research oriented, but when I was rejected by all three science programs I had applied to, I took it as a sign that I should step outside of my comfort zone and try something new. And so I did. With Mason Bottle, I pitched products over the phone to prospective stockists, crafted the perfect Facebook ads, gathered data on customer satisfaction, and realized the benefits of being out of my zone.
Functioning as a member of a startup meant that there was no teacher to hold my hand and walk me through the steps of search engine optimization or Facebook analytics. My boss, the other interns, and I learned by reading books, scrolling through Shopify blogs, interacting with people and most importantly, just doing it. In fact, one of the most valuable lessons I learned this summer that I’ll carry with myself for a long time was, ironically, how to learn. Learning is not confined to a classroom or to a teacher, nor is it something that needs to take months or even years.
This internship wasn’t directed specifically towards high school students — for that reason, my experience was much more reminiscent of what a college internship or a career is like, and I enjoyed it that much more. On the days we worked from home, I set up my own schedule to accommodate all of my tasks, while still making time for Skype meetings. For the first time, I felt the futile racing of my brain trying and make conversation with unfamiliar friends of my boss at a company event. These kinds of situations are what I now strive for because they are exactly what make me grow and mature. With Mason Bottle, I fully immersed myself in the 360° experience of being a working member of society, and I’m looking forward to my next steps in the startup world.
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