What It’s Like to Intern at a Silicon Valley Startup

Thinking about interning at a startup? I was once in your position. This is how I felt trying to decide where to work this summer:

Intern at FiveStars Loyalty Startup

So how did I choose FiveStars? Well, when I first decided to come onboard for the summer, I had a hunch. I had this gut feeling that FiveStars was on the verge of something fantastic, and that I would gain a unique experience by being part of this rapidly growing startup.

I’m glad I acted on that hunch, because my experience here has been phenomenal.  

For one thing, the FiveStars team is on another level. It’d be tough to find another group that’s so tightly-knit, yet so hardworking. All of our team members are exceptionally sharp, and it never ceases to amaze me how much work everyone’s willing to take on. Which, you know, makes sense  — when your company’s small, each individual plays a larger role. Nobody can afford to babysit one another.

Personally, I love being surrounded in this kind of environment. It means everyone’s proactive and self-sufficient, and we take charge of our own future. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat down with fellow team members, just strategizing for hours about the improvements we wanted to make. The best part about FiveStars is that once you come up with a feasible idea you want to test, it’s totally possible to take the initiative and execute it, so long as you have the proper planning.

Even as an intern, I could bring something to the table. Throughout the summer, I was able to propose and carry out my own ideas, and I was always working on a significant project. I was connected and involved, and I really got to be in the middle of things. Would I have gotten the same opportunity at a larger “more established” company? Probably not.

Work Intern at FiveStars Loyalty Card

Having Fun with My “Boss”

Which leads me to another point I love about FiveStars: You actually don’t really have a choice — you’re always going to be in the middle of things, because there’s simply so much going on.

When a startup’s onto something good, things really takes off, and new situations are always surfacing. This summer alone, FiveStars raised $14 million, kicked off our national expansion, and started scaling from a local startup to national company…FAST. Where else can you find a twelve-week internship where you get to play a significant role in the middle of all that?

If you’re looking for an internship where you can make a difference, I’d strongly recommend looking into FiveStars. Not only will you play an active role in shaping the company, but you’ll learn a ton about the startup world, and observe how a company scales. I guarantee that if you dedicate yourself to doing this internship properly, you’ll walk away with a five-star experience 😉

Ting-Ting is a sophomore at Harvard, and a member of FiveStars’ first official summer intern class. This summer, she focused mainly on marketing, though she also stopped by the sales department, and trained diligently at our world-class Foosball facilities. When she’s not busy strategizing, checking in with clients, or pitching the product, she can be found chatting with her friends at FiveStars locations…duh.

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2 Responses to What It’s Like to Intern at a Silicon Valley Startup

  1. Sharon Huynh says:

    I am very interested in interning for Five Stars! I just sent in my resume to jobs@fivestarscard.com. I know there are no actual postings on the company website but I would like to express my interest in working for this company.

    Here is a little more about me and my experiences – http://about.me/sharonhuynh

    I would love the opportunity to hear back from the Five Stars team! Thank you



    • Gracie Binder says:

      Hey Sharon, thanks for reaching out. I’m currently looking for a new marketing intern. Do you live in the Bay Area? Please shoot me an e-mail with a resume and brief cover letter to gracie@fivestarscard.com if you’re interested.

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