It was with a mixture of trepidation and excitement that about 6 months ago, I applied for the Julian Krinsky Internship Program. I had only heard great things about the course but as an Englishman sitting in London on a cold and wet winter’s afternoon, Philadelphia seemed like a world away. Up to that moment, my only interaction with Philly was that lovely cream cheese on my bagels every Sunday!
I had nothing to fear; without a doubt, June 28- July 18 were the most astonishing, mesmerising, fun-filled and interesting three weeks of not only my summer vacation, but also my whole year!
I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of my high school summer internship as well as all of the extra-curricular activities that were so thoughtfully planned for the interns. As part of the Julian Krinsky Summer Internship Program, I embarked upon a business internship. I was set up with an internship working for a venture capital fund called SeventySix Capital, where I worked closely with and learned from the Managing Partner and the Director of Operations. I was so impressed with how kind and considerate the team at SeventySix Capital were, as they took the time to patiently explain how their business operated and provided invaluable hands-on work experience for me and my fellow intern. Because of this kindness and exposure, my co-intern Evan and I are both now seriously considering a career in financial institution asset management.
The work environment was nothing like how I expected it to be. From day one all the way through to day 21, my mentors wouldn’t stop teaching Evan and I all about how a Venture Capital fund operates. Not only this; they would also take us with them to talks and events such as JBN and Demo Day, and give us important assignments to complete which would not only benefit us, but also benefit there fund! A couple of examples of these assignments included creating a detailed book tour for them to use next year, finding and creating book covers which we thought would be appropriate for our mentor's new book, creating different websites for the company (which included making the Director of Operations his own personal website!), helping one of the start up companies which they recently invested in, called Thrive Commerce, by adding useful and important companies to their twitter page (Evan and I found over a 1000 in one day!) and researching and documenting all of these companies details and contacts. Also, a personal task, which I worked on, was to find out about recent Venture Capital defamation and reputation lawsuits due to the recent case between Ellen Pao and Kleiner Perkins. This was definitely a worthwhile exercise as I learned all about how social media can destroy the reputation of an individual, company or firm. All of these many tasks, roles and responsibilities kept Evan and I extremely busy and alert all the time.
The most challenging part of my internship for me was that my IT skills were not up to scratch- I was unsure of how to create a website when my mentor first asked me, I wasn’t sure how to split the computer screen to focus on many different documents during one time and many different small tasks like this I was unable to carry out. However, this internship ensured that I was thoroughly able to tackle these problems for life as with Evan’s help and watching You Tube Videos, I was able to teach myself how to complete these IT tasks and so not disturb my mentors and pester them with silly questions.
The residential life at Penn in the Quad is truly outstanding! As I was just a boy from London, I was feeling extremely nervous when I first entered the campus. However, within minutes I had already met all the interns who I would soon become such close friends with. During my stay in the Quad, I met so many amazing and inspiring people from all sorts of backgrounds and cultures! This internship experience was truly phenomenal and one which I will most definitely never forget. I am forever grateful to my mentors for truly taking me under their wings and showing me what it’s like to be a Venture Capitalist and also to the JKCP team, who made my internship experience possible! Thank You!