An introduction right? So that’s how it begins. I introduce to evince my credibility so that you don’t junk your time here, getting to know the experience of an intern at a startup. Well, I won’t do that. Trust me and read along, you might find my experience interesting.
I write this as my internship at Clarisights is about to conclude. I learned a lot in these 45 days in Bangalore. Be it how to manage time, juggling work from the internship, my startup in Kanpur, Vox populi or Senate, to being a better product manager, understanding the value of money and starting valuing my relationship more. This has been a great experience in terms of the work, the weather this city has, and the people I befriended here. And bless the multicultural nature of our nation, it’s not easy to maintain sanity and calm in a place where any of the three languages you know aren’t understood.
Now that you have read this far, I’ll begin first with introducing myself and how I landed in an internship here.
I am pursuing major in Aerospace Engineering from IIT Kanpur. And like most of the engineers, I won’t be pursuing that after graduation. I started up a few months back, a cab aggregator platform BookKar IITK. Working on it made me a product guy at heart and I thought it was time to see how work is as a Product Manager. So I started looking for internship opportunities in this area.
So the next thing I know, is after morning lectures and startup work, I had a profile on Angelist ready and active to look for an internship. I wanted to intern at a start up because working in it would give me an experience of how fast scaling startups work. It could give me an experience that I would use to make good decisions for my own. Those crazy startup fanatics we see in movies, I wanted to see them in real life.
I got in talks with a few startups and found myself worthy of the opportunity but soon a fear of responsibility disguised as self-confidence kicked in. I started growing apprehensions about those internships. Sometimes when things seem difficult or uncertain, we try to replace those feelings with a developed confidence for something less important and easy to manage. I now feel, the fact that I had to work in a company in a new city was intimidating and in contrast spending an unproductive summers in college was easier. Hence, I started feeling guilty for not working on my startup (knowing the work could be easily handled remotely), rather developing a product for someone else.
I said no to a few startups and booked a flight to Kanpur to “Save my startup” which wasn’t even an inch below water. ping! and I received a mail from Clarisights, asking for an interview. Thank God my parents and brother told me to get my shit together and go for it as this was what I always wanted in the first place. A scaling startup with founders who are leaders in their areas and the most important, a great product. Clarisights is the decision platform for growth. The team is building a real-time, interactive and contextual reporting platform for performance marketing teams.
Now that I bid adieu to my internship, I am proud to say that I am leaving Bangalore with more knowledge about the product space, startup ecosystem and with six kgs less than what I was (yes I joined a gym too).
It was my first time as an in-office intern. All my confidence was switched off on day-one at work. The product intimidated me as it was complicated, and I didn’t have much of a marketing background to understand it completely. I was the youngest there and that kind of intimidated me more. However, as days passed I began settling in. The people in the office were very welcoming, and it won’t be overstating that I will miss going there. Pranav, Product thinker is a great product guy. He was helpful throughout, gave me due and sometimes even more credit than what I deserved. A true gentleman he is. I observed how he managed all the tasks at hand and still was always available when I needed help. Sumangal, growth and sales guy is a genius at what he does. Also he has a vast knowledge of online products. You want to know about any product out there, ask him and he’ll pitch it so well that you’ll want to buy it instantly :P. He was very sweet and helpful throughout. Ankur, co-founder Clarisights is a great engineer. I remember preparing extensively before giving him a presentation as he used to think about the scenarios we had not thought about and problems that made our designs not relevant anymore. It prepared me to think the unthinkable and do the undoable.
I accomplished designing some product features like data currency conversion (for multinational enterprises) and an alert feature for marketers to know when a particular KPI in their data hits a limit. I built an online task database for all engineers in team and ensured it’s maintenance for better effort distribution and team management. In addition to the platform, product and team management, what I learned a lot is how marketers look at data. What are the metrics and parameters they value and how they implement their digital marketing campaigns. From looking at the marketing stack of enterprises to startups, I understood the correlation between the size of a company, the type of marketing campaigns and the relative importance of various marketing KPIs. Since the platform helps marketers analyze data, I have started valuing data-driven decision making more, which I plan to make inherent in my startup.
As my last day at Clarisights is here and I’ll be leaving for campus to begin my tenure as Acting President, Students’ Gymkhana for some time, I think being here for an internship has been a great decision that has made me more passionate about working on my startup and the experience I got here will definitely help me to make a great product one day.