Every summer, ambitious high school students aiming to study at prestigious post- secondary institutions look for impressive internship opportunities to add to their resumes. While age can never be a sole indicator of one’s capability in a field, what can a high school student truly do or learn by interning at Boston Consulting Group or at any other big-name household firms?
At best, the student may learn a thing or two from experienced veterans in the field only if they have the time to look after the new intern. Often times, the high schooler will be overwhelmed by the firm’s intense atmosphere and have no direct chance to gain valuable lessons.
That is why, instead of looking for family connections that could land me a dazzling internship merely for my future admission to my desired universities, I chose to seek an opportunity at Mozzet, a venture capital, and its team of startup companies (Read my previous article for more info on startups: http://www.heraldtomorrow.co.kr/news/articleView.html? idxno=367) to gain meaningful insights in the field of business management.
Harry Kwon, a graduate from Stern School of Business and now the CEO of Mozzet, thankfully accepted my request to be an intern for a month at his company. I was assigned to the Look-Pin Team and more specifically to the management department. I was fortunately given the chance to actually sit in team meetings, contribute my own ideas, and make several modifications to Look-Pin, a start-up mobile application designed to style and personalize men’s fashion.
On top of my close engagement with business management, my fellow colleagues gave me advices regarding running a start-up item such as Look-Pin. They often stressed the importance of team work as start-up businesses are initially far from stability and require harmonious cooperation among coworkers and teammates to prevent bankruptcy.
Jonghyun Kim, the head of management for Look-Pin, further added, “Startups can seem fascinating and they are. But more than anything, they are wobbly. Even the most profitable startup companies like Sbenu can go bankrupt in just a matter of days.” Look-Pin’s rapidly burgeoning presence in both Android and iPhone application industry can be explained by “the team’s great communication network,” says Jonghyun.
|(Look-Pin is currently a trending startup item and has been ranked 1st in Apple App Store’s ‘Shopping’ category)
Look-Pin now hopes to launch a website to expand its sales business beyond phones. Developers and business operators work hand-in-hand every day to improve the application and the business as a whole. I was lucky enough to be in the front row seat to both contribute to and witness the art of startups.
My month of internship experience has quickly come to an end and so did my first ever paycheck. However, what remains is this priceless experience and the first-hand knowledge that will guide me through the uncertain, and often blind, alleys of the business world. As I hope to one day run my own business, like Mr. Kwon and Mr. Kim, I can confidently say that my internship was an enriching one.
|(A team picture before starting my last meeting with them)
The question when looking for an internship should never be “Will it impress colleges?” but rather should be “Will it teach me valuable lessons that also suit my passion?” Answering the former question will only waste one’s time as colleges will see right through those who are simply interning for admissions.
Jordan Seungjin Choi
Rising 12th grade
Saint Paul Preparatory Seoul
Seungjin Choi firstname.lastname@example.org
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