Interning with the Most Startup-Friendly Accelerator

This summer, MassChallenge welcomed 50+ interns to support our efforts in catalyzing a global startup renaissance! Across departments, each intern gained valuable professional experience, immersed themselves in the local innovation ecosystem, and lent a hand in helping the world’s most-promising startups launch, grow, and create impact.

… and they had a lot of fun along the way!

We’ve been so impressed by their efforts over the past few months that we’re dubbing this week “Intern Takeover” on the MC blog. Be sure to check back each day for new perspectives on relocating to Boston, the value of mentorship, strategic partnerships, and more.

To kick things off, we caught up with Chloe Tinagero and Sarah Regan, who served as intern coordinators this summer:


You both served as MC interns last year, what about that experience made you want to return?

  • Chloe: Undoubtedly, it was getting the opportunity to work with the people that made me want to return to MassChallenge. We are fortunate in that we get to work alongside a vibrant young community of dedicated people – who care so much about each other's success. I felt so supported throughout my first summer at MC, and had so much FUN, that I couldn't wait to come back for round two.

  • Sarah: Everyone at MassChallenge is passionate about helping startups. MC’s energy is contagious, and every day I looked forward to coming into the office. Both the staff and startups were extremely eager to help me excel during my internship in whatever way they could. The incredible people paired with the entrepreneurial energy is a unique culture that I could not wait to return to.
     

What is your favorite part about working with startups?

  • Chloe: Getting to know them by name and story! Each of them brings something so different to the table, and hearing what brought them to MC and where their passions lie is incredibly rewarding.

  • Sarah: My favorite part about working with startups is that I get to learn about new ideas across all industries. I love that every day I have the opportunity to learn something new!
     

Why should students consider immersing themselves in entrepreneurial communities?

  • Chloe: In a word: exposure. There’s no better way to learn about all the different aspects of business, so it’s perfect for students still trying to figure out what they want to specialize in. There’s also unlimited opportunities to grow professionally! Students will become literate in corporate lingo across multiple industries and plugged into the startup ecosystem, which will enable them to impress in the future. Finally, networking: students will make incredibly meaningful professional connections at MC, and you never know where those might lead...

  • Sarah: From the beginning, students are told there is rulebook to success. Work hard, get good grades, go to college, and maybe you'll be able to buy a home by 30. When students immerse themselves in entrepreneurial communities, they are challenged to look at success through a new lens that doesn't always involve playing by the rules and adds value to the community as a whole.
     

What was your favorite part about the intern program this summer?

  • Chloe: THIS INTERN CLASS! I am so honored to have been able to work so closely with them and watch them do amazing things over the course of the summer. It has been incredibly rewarding to see their diverse array of strengths and personalities meld together to make an unstoppable unit.

  • Sarah: Seeing interns take on their own initiatives! By the end of the summer we had interns doing some amazing things from leading trainings for other interns to organizing office visits with our partners -- we had a high achieving intern class!
     

Which startup were you most excited about this summer?

  • Chloe: Minus the Moo and John's Crazy Socks! The founders of each of the respective companies are SO engaging, kind, and enthusiastic. It’s infectious. I can't wait to order a pair of John's Crazy Socks and I've already eaten WAY too much Minus the Moo.

  • Sarah: InvisaWear! The founders met in college (shout-out to Rajia and Ray!), and from there created their mission of empowering users to feel safe through a wearable, fashionable device.


Any advice for future interns?

  • Chloe: Ask clarifying questions at the beginning of the summer – get to know your department and what your manager's goals are for the department over the course of the summer. By starting this way, you’ll have a clearer understanding of what you can expect in your workload. Be sure to proactively communicate with your manager if you have any concerns, (and use your intern coordinators as a resource for that, too!) The sooner everyone can be in sync, the more successful you will be!

  • Sarah: Get to know as many people in the office as you can! Stay late to clean up at events, introduce yourself to strangers at the coffee machine, even in the elevator up to the office. Every day, there are opportunities to build meaningful relationships at MassChallenge, relationships that could lead you to your next professional opportunity, a friendship, or both! Get to know the people you work with and help wherever you can, regardless of what your job description is.