I’ve learned more than I could have ever imagined this summer. Since it’s my last week as an intern for Lab42, I participated in an exclusive interview (with myself) about my experiences. See below:
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned while working at Lab42 this summer?
First, don’t be afraid to take risks. Dive into a project that is out of your comfort zone. You can learn as you go. I’ve found that the best way to pick up a new skill is simply by giving it a try. One of the great things about working at a startup is the variety. I get to be involved in so many different aspects of the business, and each week I’m working on something new and exciting.
Second, always ask questions. I’ve found that the best way to learn from all of the market research aficionados at Lab42 is to simply ask questions. They have taught me everything from how to approach PR and marketing for startups to writing an effective survey to analyzing data.
What was your biggest challenge?
Speaking up. I’m a pretty quiet person, so voicing my opinion in a group setting is something I have always struggled with. However, the amazing team at Lab42 has helped me get more comfortable finding my voice.
Did anything ever happen at the office that made you laugh?
All the time, that’s part of why I love working here. The first thing that comes to mind is the occasional whoopee cushion prank, although I’ve never been at the receiving end of this. Just the other day we all looked up our dog look-alikes on Doggleganger. And last week I witnessed a foosball competition to decide who got first pick on their new seat before we rearranged our desks. I’ve learned to expect the unexpected.
If you could have dinner with any one person, who would it be and why?
It’s a three-way tie between Steve Jobs, Ayn Rand, and Arianna Huffington. Steve Jobs because I’m obsessed with any Apple product and it would be awesome to hear his perspective on how Apple became the company it is today. As for Ayn Rand, anyone who can write 1079 pages and hold my attention the entire time is someone I’d like to meet. I just finished Atlas Shrugged and was amazed by the extremely bold and convincing philosophy Rand presented. Keep reading to find out why Arianna Huffington is on the list.
What was your favorite thing to work on?
There are way too many things to pick just one (it was my own question, I know). I’ve loved working on infographics. It’s really fun to write the surveys for them and then scour the data for the most interesting results. When we analyze the data, we don’t just look at the raw results from each question, but we also do cross-tabulations. For example, we can further sort the data from each question by age or gender. It’s especially interesting (and sometimes hilarious) to see what people write in response to open-ended questions. You’d be surprised how much people get into those.
Another thing I enjoyed working on was PR outreach. Throughout the summer I emailed editors and writers, pitching them on Lab42 and spreading the word about all the cool things we are doing. I loved seeing the occasional Inbox (1) in my gmail from someone who was interested in doing a feature on Lab42. The highlight of my PR outreach was definitely getting a personal reply from Arianna Huffington. After this, I read a lot about her and was inspired by her story. That’s how she made it onto my “people I’d like to meet” list.
I’ve also had a ton of fun blogging, and I’ve learned so much about market research and social media marketing in the process. Even though this is my last week in the Lab42 office, I’m still going to be blogging remotely from Brandeis, so stay tuned!