Coming out of my first year of college I did not expect to get an internship, especially since Drexel University is on a quarter system and I was getting out of school in the middle of June. However, I stumbled upon a small tech startup called Ulimi that focused on voice first technology. They were in need of a conversational design intern and after meeting my future boss Nick, I was offered the position. This is where I learned my first lesson in business: Don’t limit yourself to skills that are within the confines of your degree. When I heard about the position, I immediately thought that I was unqualified and not technologically savvy enough to do the job. What I would soon learn was that chatbots and voice first technology is such a new field that there are very few people that are qualified to do the job that I was thrust into.
Immediately as I was brought into the folds of the company, I learned my second lesson in business: Working for a small company allows for your work to hold value and work with a variety of people who will build your skill set. My job title may have been conversational design intern, but I was not limited to just working on those assignments. I was going to meetings with clients, strategizing new products, designing websites, and managing the company’s social media accounts. I worked with people that were willing to help me learn and become mentors to me, something that was valued at the company. I also learned the value of hard work in general, but in this case starting a business. Everyone around me at Ulimi saw the hard work of our boss and wanted to match his dedication to the company. Starting a company does not happen by sitting around and thinking of things to do, it is created from the hard work of those that are putting the company on their backs and committing their lives to their passion.
Apple wasn’t built in a day, so realistically a new company will have its struggles to get off the ground. I was lucky enough to get in on the first few stages of the climb to the top for Ulimi. Although the field of voice first technology isn’t something I would think would fit with my future career, I learned invaluable skills under amazing mentors. While working at a large company has its perks, there is something exhilarating about being a part of something with the promise of greatness.