To be frank, if I had the chance to pitch my summer to a potential DEC applicant next year, the program would be so flooded with applications that Howie, Matt, and Shea (program organizers) would hate me for forcing so many resumes and videos into their inbox. (jokes..) Feel free to Pocket (getpocket.com) it for later if you don’t have time right now for this double-post ;)
Especially with how cryptic I have been about the happenings here at Pocket HQ, before I get into how much my mind has been blown by Cali life, I would like to update you all on my role in the company, 3/4 of the way done with this (way too short) experience. I’ve maintained my duties with some analytics, continued to work with customer support, and taken a little more initiative in identifying areas (both high level and specific) where Pocket has room to grow. I’m learning as much as I’m getting inspired — and I’m learning a lot.
Something that I’ve made a little more effort in doing is getting to know coworkers on a more personal level. It’s crazy if you work at an amazing startup and don’t try to learn from each of the members. In Pocket, each of the 8 current team members have clearly contributed so much to Pocket’s critical acclaim, and it would be a shame not to capitalize on the opportunity to indulge in the buffet (yum) of wisdom around my desk. Simple conversations can have extraordinary effects on your life, especially when you can see elements of yourself in each story that person tells. Yesterday, what resonated the most was my discussion with a coworker about how unpredictable opportunities are, and that putting yourself out there is one of the best things you can do.
To be honest, I had solid expectations for the summer, but nothing to the extent I expected at an overall quality of life and level of fulfillment every day. Because I haven’t had too much work experience (yeah I’m young), it still baffles me that people do internships just to have them. Talking to one of my closer friends from high school, I get the impression that he sees internships as meaningless work for beer money on the weekends. And maybe the idea of being a cog in an enormous megamachine of a corporation is what people expect, but if you have an option to try out working with a small team that loves what they do day in and day out, I suggest you do. Seriously.
I won’t even pretend that my days at Pocket are as long as those of some of my peers at ibanking internships right now, or as grueling, or as stressful. But why has the East coast collegiate environment bred such an ravenous proclivity to work that makes you want to jump out of a window every day — if it were not for the sizable paycheck that you think you will have time to spend… someday. I don’t want to bash these kinds of careers too much, but it bothers me that education has been institutionalized in such a way that it’s hard for even some of the smartest people to explore what their interests before they pretty much declare what they want to do for the rest of their lives.
To end this post on a happier note, here are some fun things you can expect to do if you happen to enroll in DEC San Francisco next year:
- Eat the best fusion, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Korean, Italian, and pretty much everything else food you’ll ever have. I haven’t had a bad meal (okay, maybe a couple…).
- Get the chance to see some of the most exciting concerts in the world. San Francisco and the Bay are hubs of culture, and awesome concerts are every weekend.
- Check out beautiful historic neighborhoods. Dolores Park, Golden Gate Park, and Fort Mason are a few of the more famous ones.
- Visit amazing museums. I live next to the MoMA and Jewish Museum, but also visited this great one called Legion of Honor.
- Meet really damn smart people. The San Francisco young tech/elite network is one of the most tight-knit communities, so be open and ready to meet fascinating people. Also, DEC kids get to meet a ton of CEOS.
- Bike to really great places along the Bay. Too many places to name.
- Go to really fun, niche festivals. As one of the most diverse places on the Earth, SF has fun events every day that will blow you away. There was a bike-powered concert last month, for example.
- Shop at some unique stores. Aside from the boutique stores everywhere, there is every brand you can think of, including the Banana Republic, Levis, and Gap flagship stores.
- Did I mention the food?
‘Til next time.