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.  

Summer Internship Series: Business in the Bay-Area

Khalig Howard ’19

Magnolia Prime, San Francisco, California

Khalig howard '19 tabling for magnolia prime

My name is Khalig Howard, and I am 3rd year student at Denison University. At Denison, I am a Global Commerce Major, a German Minor, a member of the Black Student Union, a player on the Varsity Lacrosse team, and a volunteer with the local Big Brothers & Big Sisters Lunch Buddies program.

This past summer I worked in San Francisco for a tech start-up called Magnolia Prime. This was my first time being in San Francisco, and I had the summer of my life learning and working in the Bay Area. At Magnolia Prime, I worked with a small team based in the Silicon Valley to develop and market SaaS Interactive Voice Response (IVR) services to Home Care Facilities, Senior Living Communities, and Small Medical Practice providers. My duties included, but were not limited to, disseminating news through Constant Contact, creating market competition reports, and working in tandem with the Vice President of Business Development to identify and pursue perspective clients.

In addition to working for Magnolia Prime, I coached a U15 lacrosse team based in San Francisco called the NorCal Braves. This was a real pleasure for me, and provided a much needed break in my work week. My formal title was “Summer Marketing and Business Development Intern”. I learned a lot about the procurement process, and managed the social media platforms of the company. I spent a large majority of my time working with the Vice President of Business Development to identify, pursue, and engage prospective clients for our SaaS based IVR software. I was able to increase our website’s web traffic two-fold in the time I spent working with the company this summer, and I even made my way onto the front page! (https://www.magnoliaprime.com/)

A typical work day for me involved waking up a 6:30 am to take the 1BX from my apartment in San Francisco to the Cal-Train station, where I would then train down to Redwood City (where the company headquarters is located). The whole journey took me about 3.5 hours daily! I would meet with the CEO, Karen Routt, in the mornings and she would brief on my tasks for the day. Additionally, she would inform me of times she planned on phone conferencing current and potential investors so that I had the opportunity to sit in on the meetings. Once a week, I met with Marketing Director, Stacey, to plan our social media posts for the upcoming week. We would discuss frequency of posts, content, and website analytics. Stacey and I would also review items such as Elevator Pitches, Pitch Decks, and 1-page information sheets to ensure that our content was always fresh and engaging when we presented it to investors and client prospects.

My experience in San Francisco this past summer showed me that I am very fond of small-team work environments. I had the opportunity to learn from, and work closely with, each department that comprises Magnolia Prime.  Also, since our team was so small, I was able to get personalized attention from each department head whenever I had any questions about my work. I also grew to love San Francisco, and although quite expensive, it is an amazing city and I hope to have the opportunity to work there in the future.

My Internship was unique in the fact that I am still an employee for Magnolia Prime. I signed a contract to do outside consulting work for the company part-time throughout the course of this Fall. I will be working with the CEO, Karen Routt, in formulating ideas to secure funding from potential investors, as well as, researching and creating market competition reports, to ensure that Magnolia Prime is always on its ‘A’ game.

I want to give a special thanks to the Knowlton Center Staff and Denison, for helping me make this Internship possible!