This summer, I had the opportunity to be back home as an intern at Boosted! As a rising sophomore, this was the first internship/job outside of school that I ever had, and it was a great experience, one that I'd like to share with all of you!
What is Boosted?
Boosted, Inc. is a growing startup in Mountain View, CA developing lightweight, electric vehicles, and their first product is an electric longboard. You might recognize Boosted from the Kickstarter Campaign back in 2012, the TED Talk in 2013, the Betabrand x Boosted Boards video that was featured on the GoPro channel, or recently, a video showing a Boosted board pushing a car! If you haven't seen the Betabrand collaboration video yet, here's a clip of the opening scene!
What I Did
As an engineering intern, I had the option of working on various individual and team projects, ranging from running tests, to improving production, to updating the inventory system. I also did some product testing - you know - the tough stuff, but someone had to do it.
This is one of the tests that I built and ran!
Why It Was Awesome
Overall, I had a blast interning at Boosted! Here are four of the many reasons why it was amazing (in no particular order)!
1. THE "WORK": Interning at Boosted wasn't just a 9-5 job that I HAD to do. There was always something interesting to do, to the point where my mother, on numerous occasions, asked if I wanted to just sleep in the office (instead of going home) since I spent so much time there anyway.
2. THE PEOPLE: The company is small (just a little over 20 people total - including sales, engineering, production, and the interns), but everyone is super nice and knowledgeable. Despite being busy with their own projects, people are always willing to take the time to answer questions and teach you anything you're unfamiliar with.
3. THE PRODUCT: The board is awesome. I wish I owned one. Seriously. A lot of effort goes into the aesthetics, the electronics, and the code to ensure that what goes out of production is a quality product that the company is proud of. If you're skeptical and you haven't tried one out, be prepared to have your mind blown when you do!
4. THE CULTURE/ENVIRONMENT: I might've touched on this earlier, but Boosted has a close-knit, family-like feel to it, where everyone has a say, and it's not awkward talking to anyone (unless you make it so). The team balances work and play well, and that was particularly noticeable when we went laser-tagging to celebrate hitting a milestone!
Looking Back On This Summer
I had a great time interning at Boosted and being home for the summer. Finishing my internship was a bittersweet moment, but now I'm back at Olin with some new skills under my belt and looking forward to gaining even more skills this year.
Advice for First-Years
Don't stress too much about finding an internship or job for the summer. Yes, you'll hear people tell you that it's not easy for first-years to get anything, but don't take that as a sign to just give up right off the bat!
Start early. Send in applications. Network. Pursue what you're passionate about. Keep talking to PGP.
I can't guarantee that doing all of that will lead you to an internship, but doing those things and being proactive will increase your chances. Even if you don't have a ton of skills or achievements, if you convey how passionate you are about something, that might be enough for a company to offer you some pointers or maybe even a position!