Gatsby and Vital Score Chat
As we near the end of our summer, we finally had the chance to talk with the interns who are working at Gatsby and Vital Score. Gatsby is a blockchain-powered startup that challenges the status quo for how people connect to the net by providing wireless internet to the world. Vital Score combines behavioral science and consumer-friendly technology to motivate people at peak moments of receptivity to choose the services that will have the biggest impact on their health. Laura Halsey '19 is working at Vital Score this summer and Astrid Montanez-Garay '19, Mark Kim '20, and Zoya Shoaib '20 are working at Gatsby.
WHAT PROJECT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON AT YOUR STARTUP?
At Vital Score, Laura is working on finalizing a white paper for a pilot vaccine intervention program that the company completed over this past year. Mark is researching Internet infrastructure partners and smart city competitors/partners for Gatsby and Zoya is working to stream line data from internet routers to the Amazon DynamoDB in real time. Right now, Astrid is currently working on building partnerships with companies focused on DOOH (Digital Out-Of-Home) ad analytics to incorporate their technology into our kiosks, which will provide free wifi. She's also helping prepare the whitepaper for Gatsby to pitch to potential investors, focusing primarily on explaining the technology side of our product.
IF YOU COULD CHOOSE ONE WORD TO DESCRIBE THE LAST WEEK, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
Both Laura and Astrid called the week exciting. Laura was allowed to sit in on some meetings last week with clients and partners, which was very enlightening/interesting and Astrid said, "I enjoy going to work every every day because I have wonderful coworkers that take my opinion very seriously and I think the direction the company is taking is very new and exciting". Mark chose rewarding to describe his week, and Zoya said insightful because "the past week i had couple of meetings which made me realize that I have learned so much this summer".
WHAT ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE HAS SURPRISED YOU THE MOST THIS SUMMER? WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU'VE LEARNED?
Laura noted, like many other PSIP students, that she was surprised by how fast-paced start-up life is and how quickly things change, especially within a smaller company. The most valuable thing she's learned is that it is not "annoying" (or embarrassing) to ask for clarification on a task or to express what she's interested in working on so she get assigned tasks accordingly. Mark has been most surprised by the amount of personal attention Gatsby gives their interns, as well as the amount of responsibility they are given. The most important thing he's learned is to meet new people and form relationships, rather than network. When asked what surprised her most, Astrid said:
"Contrary to most people, I didn't think I was going to enjoy living in NY. To be honest, the city seemed a bit too overwhelming. What has changed my mind is I guess since we are living in Brooklyn Heights rather than Manhattan itself, I don't feel too overwhelmed and still can enjoy the fast paced excitement of the city in the afternoon and on the weekends. I am highly considering working in NYC next year after I graduate. The most important thing I learned this summer is that it is important to involve yourself with as much as you can because you never know what you can learn or capable of accomplishing".
Zoya has been have pleasantly surprised by how much she's learned on the job. She didn't have to come in knowing all the coding languages, so long she was willing to learn. The most important thing she's learned is that there is a direct correlation between how much effort you put into projects and how much you get out of it. Even outside of projects, it's true for anything you do, such as forming connections.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE SPOT IN NYC?
Zoya's favorite spot is the Strand Bookstore and Laura loves the Brooklyn Bridge Park. Astrid's official favorite spot is Sweet Moment ("That mango cheesecake shaved ice is what life is all about") and Mark has a lot of favorite spots:
"For ramen, Ivan Ramen—Mu Ramen is good if you like Tonkotsu, Ivan is good if you want something bolder. For pizza, Prince St. Pizza, though Lucali's is pretty good too. Mei Li Wah bakery in Chinatown for a really good pork bun, Shanghai You in Flushing for some good, cheap soup dumplings, Sweet Moment in Chinatown for good shaved ice, Mikey's for some good ice cream".