GlossGenius and Emma's Torch
Happy 4th of July, tigers! This week, we caught up with Rachel Yee '19, Sharon Xiang '20, Hannah Waxman '19, and Allison Huang '21. Rachel and Sharon are working for GlossGenius, a company that provides a smart, automated personal assistant for beauty professionals & freelancers. Hannah and Allison are spending their summer at Emma's Torch, a social enterprise that empowers refugees through culinary education and job readiness training. When asked to describe this week in one word, the GlossGenius interns said hectic but fun, Allison said challenging, and Hannah went with delicious (she got to sample 15 different kind of cheese this week).
WHAT PROJECT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON AT YOUR STARTUP?
Sharon and Rachel are working on a variety of different projects at GlossGenius, including payment processing, customer acquisition, debt collections, hiring a new head of engineering, creating social media influencer retention packages, clarifying language on the website, and improving UX. Expanding the GlossGenius app requires them to work with several departments, keeping them busy but also highly engaged. At Emma's Torch, Allison is working on marketing, specifically connecting the company's online following to its traffic on the ground. Hannah's assisting with donor cultivation at Emma's Torch in a variety of ways. Her current project has been researching different CRM services and helping Emma's Torch decide which one suits the organization best.
WHAT INSIGHT ARE YOU HOPING TO GAIN FROM THIS SUMMER?
These PSIP interns all have different goals for the summer, and they seem well on their way to achieving them. Sharon told us she just wants to learn what it's like to work at a startup, and feels like she's gained a lot from the fast-paced and often intense experience. Rachel wants to understand what makes a business successful and able to differentiate itself from competitors. On a more personal level, she would like to identify and understand what I need from future working environments. Allison wants to learn how to leverage a medium to reach an audience and align this marketing initiative with a vision at Emma's Torch. Lastly, Hannah hopes to understand how one can transform passion into impact through the nonprofit world.
WHAT HAS SURPRISED YOU MOST ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE SO FAR?
At Emma's Torch, Allison has been surprised and inspired by her three female bosses, whom she admires for their deep approaches to questions and innovative, forward-looking solutions. Hannah said it's hard to pick one thing, but she knew very little about entrepreneurship or the start-up world before this summer and feels like she's learning something new every day and reforming her prior opinions. Rachel said she's been surprised by how far she can push herself, and Sharon's happy with how unexpectedly easy it was for her to settle in to her company's working environment.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE SPOT IN NYC?
This is always one of the most fun questions we ask the PSIP interns, because we get a sense of what they've been exploring (and can take their advice on cool places to visit ourselves). Rachel loves running along the Promenade near the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges and Allison has found East One Coffee Roasters, a homey spot 2 minutes from her work. Sharon said that Milk and Cream has AMAZING ice cream and Hannah, a native New Yorker, has found that one of her favorite things is her walk to work from Brooklyn Heights to Carroll Gardens through the historic Cobble Hill neighborhood.
Last week the PSIP interns also got the rare opportunity to chat with Mike Yaroshefsky, the founder and CEO of RocketVisor, the world's first account and project collaboration suite that's built right into your browser. Mike is a Princeton and Harvard Business School alumnus who gave us a first hand account of his experience working at Insight Venture Partners (where the PSIP students visited last week) and transitioning into starting his own company. Here's a picture of all the interns with Mike after the talk!