When I came to ETC in June, I didn’t even know what a startup was. The only time I have to step in the Sellinger Business School at Loyola is to cross through to my Screenwriting class, so I was lost when I stepped into the world of entrepreneurship. I had no idea what an accelerator or a coworking space was. On my first day, Jackie Albright asked me what ideas I had for blog content, and I replied, “Um, we should ask what their favorite tech is.” I really must have scared Jackie in that moment. How was the new intern going to help at all if they had no idea what they were doing?
But Jackie had hired a Writing Major, and the thing about Writing Majors is we learn and adapt quickly. Rachel Blevins and Jackie were so patient and helpful as I got my footing in the first couple of weeks at ETC. They gave me books on content writing, SEO, and such to read up on and presented me with a comprehensive schedule. My first assignment was easy: write an introduction for myself. However, my second piece was an information piece on TechBuzz, an event that I knew nothing about.
In a way, I was lucky that the TechBuzz piece was my first real assignment. Not only did I have to research TechBuzz, but I also had to learn about the ETC startups who had participated in the past. All of this research helped me start to grasp the mission of ETC and the ideals of the Baltimore startup community.
During my time at ETC, I have written 22 blog posts, helped manage the social media, and made well over 50 graphics. My favorite pieces that I got to create were the spotlights for Innovative Charitable, MyBestBox, and Fusiform. For these three pieces, I was required to meet in-person with founders of the startups to get to know them and their businesses. When you talk to a founder about their startup in-person, you understand the passion that they have and what got them started, which is something that you can’t necessarily get from an email response.
I loved hearing Ryan Middleton’s story about how MBB started out in fellow founder Fatima Dicko’s apartment as I sat in their new warehouse space. When I interviewed Dale Kelley, CEO and President of Innovative Charitable, I heard the conviction in his voice as he talked about how Innovative Charitable had the ability to change how corporations could donate to charity more efficiently. And meeting with Param Shah from Fusiform left me in a good mood because of his positive energy and talk about his growing startup.
I feel like I have come a long way since June. Now, I could probably give a simple but passable presentation on the basics of entrepreneurship and startups. ETC has provided me with everything I could have hoped for in an internship: excellent mentors/bosses, a great working atmosphere, and patient yet challenging learning opportunities. I wish the best of luck to my successor and hope that they enjoy this position as much as I did.