What Our Interns Did On Their Summer Vacation
With September fast approaching, the interns have recently completed their time here at Cogo. They've finished up their projects and said their goodbyes. We've cleaned out their desks, but we're still mopping up our tears. 😭
As we explained previously, our summer internship program is a unique experience - we organize our interns into two self-managing teams and engage them in a friendly competition to build an online business over the summer.
Now that they're transitioning out of our orbits (we hope only temporarily!) we thought we'd conclude this summer chapter by having them tell you in their own words what their summer at Cogo was really like.
What’s your favorite thing that you learned this summer?
Linnea (Hamilton College, Computer Science) - That projects morph and change over time, and that’s okay. It’s important to not get too attached to a particular idea. Allow it to go in whatever direction is working.
Tam (Mount Holyoke, Economics & Mathematics) - My team was very far behind the other team in the competition. On the day we thought we stood no chance of catching up in the short amount of time left, my team turned the tables and prevailed. So, as cliché as it may sound, my favorite thing I learned this summer is: anything can happen.
Eli (Tufts, Computer Science) - It’s hard to pinpoint something that was my favorite, but an invaluable skill was learning how to divide up work in a team and then glue it all back together.
Troy (Williams, Mathematics) - Live band karaoke is the way to go.
What skills did you develop during the internship?
Grace (Dartmouth, Computer Science) - Cogo has been an incredible learning opportunity for me. Coming in with basically no web development experience, I now know how to build a website from the ground up. In addition, working on a small team I got to help out in other sides of the business, understanding more fully how a Cogo startup works.
Tam - I am now more confident with my ability to write SQL queries, and have a better understanding about how descriptive data can be used to solve marketing problems and help make informed decisions.
Which aspects of Cogo’s culture did you like the best?
Joey (Northeastern, Industrial Engineering) - Everybody was so helpful! I could go to any person in the building and ask them questions and they would patiently provide answers, explanations, and help.
Linnea - I like that the atmosphere is very laid back and fosters creativity. Cogo is very much a work hard, play hard company, and I really enjoyed that.
Troy - Cogo is filled with young, cool, and energetic people who like to spend time together and do fun activities, and that’s awesome.
How was your internship experience different from what you expected?
Sophie (Emerson, Interactive Media) - I remember being worried I wouldn’t get along with my team very well before starting the internship, but it was great! We worked together well and also had a great time with each other.
Megan (Wellesley, Mathematics) - I did not expect to eat so much free food.
Joey - The work I’ve been doing has changed a number of times in the short period I have been here. I expected to be locked in to one project but the pace was much quicker than I had ever imagined.
Alex - I was really surprised by that sheer amount of Cogo infrastructure that was available to us and that would be so useful to building our site.
Linnea - My internship experience surpassed expectations. We had a lot more freedom in our project than I expected, while still having the necessary resources available. I also had a lot more fun than I had expected, and formed strong friendships among the other interns.
Grace - I definitely wasn’t expecting to be this excited and invested in the product. I love talking to people about our website, and trying to get people to visit.
Troy - I really liked how much we were 100% in control of our website and our advertising and could really take the summer in any direction we wanted.
What was your favorite food/drink/snack in the kitchen?
Joey - String cheese!
Julia - All of the coffee, and M&M cookies. 👌
Eli - The cold brew on tap. Easily.
Tam - Chocolate chip cookie and strawberries.
Grace - Those fancy English muffins.
Sophie - Brownie Brittle!!!
Megan - Fruit, and dark chocolate bark.
What was your relationship with your Cogo mentors like?
Alex - Our mentors were great. They were very hands-off, which allowed us to learn from our mistakes, but they were also always there when we needed help or guidance.
Julia - A+. Rad people who taught me things when I asked questions and played Drawful with me all the other times.
Grace - Fantastic. I was originally expecting our relationship to be very serious, but now we’re friends, we enjoy spending time together. They are invested in us, and there to help, but also there to go to trivia with us on a Tuesday.
Sophie - The mentors were great and friendly and helped us out a lot. It felt like just having three super helpful, slightly older friends who were on your side.
What was your favorite outing/event this summer?
Joey - Board game nights!
Alex - The Red Sox Game.
Sophie - Favorite outing was the Cogo Cruise! It was super fun.
Tam - Definitely Boda Borg. I had a great time spent with all the interns and mentors, trying to solve puzzles and doing physical exercises together.
Eli - I really enjoyed the kayaking on the Charles. It was a really beautiful day and very relaxing.
How has your experience in the intern program changed your perspective on the start-up & tech space?
Grace - It has shown me that there are many ways to create a start-up, and also shown me the power of a (somewhat) larger company’s engineering tools. The tools at Cogo’s disposal are incredible.
Sophie - It was nice that everyone was so warm and friendly, which is not necessarily something I’ve associated with tech workplaces.
Linnea - Cogo has definitely changed the way that I view startups. The startup and tech space is about more than just working all the time--Cogo promotes a healthy work-life balance. It allows its employees to work on many different things, learn a lot, and have a much bigger impact on the overall business.
How would you describe the Cogo internship program to next year’s applicants?
Grace - It's a fast-paced crash course in spinning up a website into an all-out business.
Linnea - The Cogo internship program is very unique. It allows you to be creative and work with a team with very few limitations. It’s really exciting to create and maintain a project throughout the entire summer and you get to learn so much while still having a lot of fun.
Troy - This internship is a really cool experience for people wanting to get their feet wet in starting a website from scratch and then figuring out what to do from there. There are always people to ask for guidance or advice, but the intern teams drive all the progress themselves.
What advice would you give to next summer’s interns?
Joey - Be ready to hit the ground running. Everything here moves at light speed.
Alex - A/B test everything early on and try out lots of different approaches during the first few weeks.
Linnea - Come in with an open mind. You won’t find an internship experience like this anywhere else and you should try to enjoy every minute of it.
Eli - Get the buffalo chicken grilled cheese at Friendly Toast.
What was the most memorable part of your summer at Cogo?
Grace - Getting to know the people, my teammates, the other interns, our mentors, and the greater Cogo community.
Linnea - The most memorable part of my summer at Cogo was all of the relationships I built. From friendships with the other interns and mentors, to game nights and other outings, I met so many smart, fun people that made this summer great.
Troy - The people. And the dogs.
Tam - I can’t tell exactly one moment that is most memorable to me, but I know that I have grown fond of my teammates, and I will miss them and their senses of humor a lot when this internship ends.