Reflecting on the Power of Community

Written by Jen Ayer, Marketing and Events Intern


As other interns have discussed during this week’s blog takeover, MassChallenge welcomed more than 50 students from around the world to support top startups this summer. All of us are currently studying different areas in college and most of us want to wind up in various fields after graduation, but when I reflect on this internship experience, I realize that regardless of our backgrounds, working with entrepreneurs has left a tremendous impact.

This isn’t surprising, of course. When you dive into the startup ecosystem, you realize how unique this community is – filled with tons of people who have little in common other than their love for innovation. Entrepreneurs and startup enthusiasts alike contribute to all different types of industries, are from countries all over the world, and represent all walks of life. Despite these differences, I’ve seen the celebration of creative thinkers and how everyone bands together to offer support.

This summer, all 50 of us have worked on various projects marching towards one collective goal: to help startups win. Being an intern at MassChallenge has brought us into this powerful and welcoming innovation community. Whether we decide to stay involved or move into a different field, our experiences at MassChallenge have educated us on the universal impact and power of community.

In the final post of this takeover, I caught up with my fellow interns to hear what they had to say about their experiences immersing themselves in the MassChallenge and broader innovation community this summer:

  • “The MassChallenge community has made me feel more inspired than ever. Never have I been in a community that is more supportive and engaged. Every conversation I have – whether it be with a startup, mentor, or investor, everybody seems to be asking ‘How can I help you?’. It’s clear that everyone in the MassChallenge network wants to work together to help startups win!” – Teddy Wahle, Startup Analyst Intern
     

  • “From the second I walked into MassChallenge on my first day, I knew that this summer was going to be more than just an internship. I was greeted by smiling staff and my manager walking over to give me a hug. I knew I was making an impact and working on projects that would affect the entire community. The MassChallenge community and, in particular, my manager made sure I got everything I wanted out of this internship and achieved my goals.” – Severine Fortin, Global Marketing Intern
     

  • “Socially, I have met such an incredible group of people. From the interns to the full-time staff members, the employees at MassChallenge are welcoming, accepting, incredibly smart, and passionate about startups and entrepreneurship. Intellectually, MassChallenge has completely informed the way that I view entrepreneurship and the startup community.” – Tyler Jung, Partnerships Events and Operations Intern
     

  • “From staff, to interns, and startups, I've met way more people than I had imagined possible coming into the summer, which has made for a lot of interesting conversations on a daily basis and the chance to build relationships that will last beyond the summer.” – Molly Busch, Research Intern
     

  • “My highlight of the internship was definitely listening to all the startup founder stories and even the origins of MassChallenge itself. It fascinates me that so many people, including myself, wait for things to happen before actually taking initiative. It was inspiring to hear about what drove entrepreneurs to start their ventures” – Mayank Jaiswal, Investor Relations Intern
     

  • “I came to MassChallenge as an intern to narrow my future job scope, to see what I like and dislike, and to gauge what I want to do in the future. Now that I finished my internship, I realize that the future is buzzing with possibilities! I spent my summer researching and exploring opportunities that led me to learn about blockchain technology, cryptocurrency, robotics, and much more.” – Shena Lohardjo, Special Projects Intern
     

  • “This community impacted my experience this summer in a big way. I consider myself a very shy person. Once I get to know people I open up and am comfortable, but starting out is very hard. I was super relieved to find out how welcoming and friendly this community actually is. Managers were people I could talk to and approach with questions – not just people to answer to. Looking back, It really felt like everyone cared, which made it feel more like a community and less of a workplace.” – Sam Scarfone, Startup Services Intern
     

  • “Getting to know all the interns, staff, and startups has enriched my experience this summer and given me a huge network of friends and professional connections. I learned what it truly takes to run a business – successfully.” – Ben Krechevsky, Special Projects Intern
     

  • “The MassChallenge community is a bridge connecting all sectors to the startup community. I have met some of the most motivated and thoughtful individuals, have applied by academic background, and have been challenged with many interesting projects this summer.” – John Ye, Partnerships Development Intern
     

  • “It was great being around individuals, both startups and staff, that are so passionate about what they do. It made me want to work hard to support the startups in any way I could! It sounds cliché but my time at MassChallenge truly taught me the importance of teamwork. From the events I helped plan to the different projects I worked on, collaboration across departments was often, if not always, necessary.” – Amy Feldman, Marketing and Events Intern