Summer Internship Series: My Startup Summer

Patrick Manglano ’18

The Incubator, Berlin, Germany

My name is Patrick Manglano and I am a senior at Denison majoring in Political Science.  I am a member of the Cross Country and Track and Field teams, as well as a member of Beta Theta Pi.  Over the summer I had an eight-week internship in Berlin that I attained through an abroad program that I found listed by the Off-Campus Study department.  The program, ran by the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), worked with startup companies in Berlin to give students internships with specific startups, incubators/accelerators, co-working spaces, etc.  My internship was for a startup called The Wincubator, which served as a scouting and investment platform for a large, international company based in Germany called WILO.  The Wincubator works to find startups that use the same kind of innovative water, clean energy, smart buildings, and communication technology as WILO, and connect the them with WILO for investment purposes.  My job was to do research on startup hubs in developing economic areas around the world and see what external and internal factors allow them to foster startup growth.  At the end of my internship I turned in a detailed report that WILO will use to shape its startup investment approach.

Although I did not enjoy the work that I did for my internship, it was an overall good experience.  My work day consisted of getting to the office by 9:45, sitting at my desk, and staring at my computer as I read news articles and scholarly journals on things like economic policy and the needs of growing companies.  I grew tired of it pretty quickly because all I did was read other people’s research and then write it in my own words for my report, which felt very mundane and uninspiring.  I would so much rather work directly with people on projects that required we take other people’s research and find real-world applications for it.

What was good though was that since this was my first time in a truly professional setting, it helped prepare me for future professional experiences.  I found out what it is like to prepare and participate in weekly team meetings, what kind of communication is necessary for group projects, and what it is like to not have everything you do be treated like a homework assignment.  I also had a fantastic boss that I had many great conversations with.  She gave me plenty of advice on looking for the professional field I want to work in and what I should expect entering the job market.  Her being there and guiding me through this experience was a top highlight of my internship.