A Day in the Life of a Startup’s Intern

Guest blog from ELP Student Tatiana Yugay
Junior | LS&A

The Morning

A day in the life of a startup intern (what i am) starts at about 7AM, because I live an hour from work. There’s not much I do to get ready for work other than the usual morning routine, and throwing on some jeans and a t-shirt. This is probably a noteworthy difference between working at a startup and at a big corporation, (where I’d probably have to wear a blouse and dress pants, and would be more pressured to throw on some makeup). Startups are different. Well, at least Service.com is, and I imagine most others are similar in terms of the informal atmosphere/dress-code. I’m not saying you can’t dress more formally, just that it is optional.

Morning Meeting

I get to work sometime between 9AM and 10AM, hopefully and usually making it on time for the daily 10AM Morning Update Meeting in King’s Landing (our biggest conference room). At this meeting, everyone goes around the horn and describes what s/he has recently accomplished and will be working on next, or what s/he is working on currently. The purpose of having this daily meeting is to:

  1. hold each employee accountable for doing work in a timely manner, and

  2. simply set the baseline for the day so that everyone understands where the company is at and what to prioritize.

Work Begins

After the meeting, the full workday begins. Although everyone works at his/her respective desk space, our office has an open design and everyone is audible and visible. This helps foster a more collaborative and friendly atmosphere. When I get to my desk, I get on my monitor, and do 1 of 2  things—continue working on the bug/issue I was working on the day before, or, if I finished that, check GitHub for other bugs/issues I was assigned to work on and work on that. If I have any questions, there is always a designated “release manager” who is the person there to lend a helping hand to anyone who needs it.

Lunch

Oh yeah, around 9:30AM we get an e-mail from foodjunky.com, where our Co-founder, Paul Proctor, has chosen some restaurant to order take-out from for that day. Every employee can choose his/her preferred food from that restaurant, and lunch gets delivered around noon. When the food comes, one of the PMs sends “FOOD” in our “food” Slack channel, and we all invade the kitchen! Lunch lasts for about 30 minutes, and after lunch, the most important part of the day happens—foosball tournament.

Foosball

Foosball is fairly vital to our company culture. We have specific rules such as: if a team doesn’t win any points in a game, that team has to crawl under the foosball table. By design, this rule raises the stakes of the game drastically. Foosball lasts for about 15 minutes because we play a total of four rounds.

Rest of the Day

After foosball, the day consists of more work, snacking from our vending machine, seeing sporadic hilarious posts in our Slack channels, trying to ride the office ripstick, hearing angry developers curse, hugging developers that need some love, and many, many, trips to the bathroom (at least for me, cause I’m always sipping on water).

Thanks for reading!

This is a typical day for us. Of course not every single day is this exact description. There are days where we have random meetings, new hirees, or other unexpected things happening. Overall, no two days are quite the same!

Happy to share with you a good representation of a day in the life of a startup intern at service.com!