Nicole Harris, an alumna who attended the first Julian Krinsky Summer Internship Program, reconnects and comes full-circle with the hopes of taking her own JKCP intern this summer! Through her experience at Julian Krinsky Summer Internship Program, she ultimately decided to attend University of Pennsylvania for higher education. Nicole graduated with a BS in Economics in 2010. She is the COO of Slyce, an image recognition and visual search company. Prior to Slyce, Nicole ran operations at SnipSnap, a mobile coupon app, which was acquired by Slyce in 2015, and since then she has taken on a leadership role at the parent company.
JKCP: What about the JKCP internship program interested you?
NH: To be honest, I was looking for a good way to see if Penn was where I wanted to go to college. On top of that, I wanted some sort of job/learning experience, and the combination of the JKCP internship was perfect. I’d get to work somewhere, learn a ton, and stay on campus at Penn. I was truly shocked when I came across the program, because it could not have been more perfect for what I was looking for.
JKCP: Where did you intern?
NH: I interned at the Philadelphia Soul arena football team. At the time, I was very interested in sports management and sports law, and thought I would be immersed into the industry at that position.
JKCP: At what age did you realize you had an interest and/or passion for this field?
NH: I became interested in law (which I ultimately did not pursue, professionally) in freshman year of high school. I was a very active member of our debate team, and the captain my junior and senior years. I have loved sports my entire life and thought it would be a great way to combine two interests. I didn’t end up working in sports or law, but I did end up working on the operations side of startups. The actual internship at the Soul was quite focused on sales and operations, ironically enough, so it was in a way connected to where I have ended up in my career.
JKCP: This internship is what originally sparked your interest at Penn, what were those defining moments?
NH: Both my parents attended Penn, so it was a natural college to look at as a high schooler. Neither of my two siblings even applied, though, so it wasn’t like my parents forced it upon us (I have a twin brother and a younger sister). At first, I pushed back at going to Penn, likely because it’s what my parents wanted most, but after spending part of my summer there as part of the JKCP program, I knew it was the school for me. I think it ended up being mostly living in the Quad, and walking around campus. I have such distinct memories of 1920 Commons, the open area in the quadrangle, and places on campus like the ice cream shop that lets you mix your toppings directly into the ice cream (called Scoop DeVille).
JKCP: Do you feel that this internship prepared you for college and ultimately your career?
NH: I can’t say that the internship prepared me for much in my future, but I don’t mean that in a negative way. It’s a three week program, and I was a very hard worker in high school. I’d held other jobs, and had another job that summer. The internship did, however, give me a great picture of what the full time work world is like. We were truly immersed into the company’s day-to-day, and it was great to see what that world was like.
JKCP: Was there a stand-out lesson/skill that you learned during your JKCP internship that you have been able to apply in the “real world”?
NH: I learned that cold-calling wasn’t for me!
JKCP: If you could give advice to current students looking for an internship, what would you tell them?
NH: I’d tell them to pick an internship that intrigues them, but doesn’t seem “easy.” Pick something a little different…it’s only three weeks, and the worst case is you don’t love your job. Trust me, even if I’d hated the job, I would have had an amazing time at the program. I met so many great people, and was so sad when it ended. I formed lifelong friendships, and it paved the way for my future in college and beyond. While the job does teach you, it’s not the only valuable part of the program…that’s for sure.