My Summer at RichRelevance
Working for a San Francisco tech start-up is the dream summer internship for many undergraduate business students like myself. Little did I know that RichRelevance would exceed all of my expectations.
I expected my job to entail lots of research, data entry, and other classic intern duties. But my manager Christine saw potential in me, and soon, I was knee deep in several key account opportunities. For example, on day one I was asked for my input on a slide deck that my CEO David Selinger was to present to one of our top customers.
Under the tutelage of Christine, Janet (the VP of Global Accounts) and the rest of the Global Accounts team, I knew I was on my way towards a busy and exciting summer.
While I did do my fair share of research, contract review and note-taking during meetings, each task held an important connection to what my team was working on. My research digging into online retail sales and financial reports for one of our top accounts and its global partners played a critical role in building a pricing proposal for that customer; my work reviewing contracts and proposals helped my team prepare for negotiations. I left each day having made an impact – something any student working in a sea of interns at a large corporation would have been envious of. In my final days, the contract I had the opportunity to work on was signed, which added significant revenue to our bottom line. Witnessing this achievement and knowing I was a part of it was the storybook ending to my summer. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Getting a taste of the RichRelevance culture was also fun. Apart from what my peers might call “classic SF startup perks” like a ping-pong table in the break room, free food and monthly massages, a company picnic at Golden Gate Park, RichRelevance is home to a diverse workforce. It was refreshing to be part of a team led by experienced and strong-minded businesswomen. Working with Janet, Christine, Natalie, and many other women that have a passion for what they do and authority within an industry previously dominated by men, was truly inspiring.
Additionally, I never once felt like someone did not value my opinion. Whether it was during a trip to meet with a client’s VP of Ecommerce, attending internal Big Data Boot Camp training, or even decorating someone’s cubicle for a birthday, I was welcomed and treated as an equal. There were times where I made mistakes, was stressed out, or needed help, but someone always believed in me, and that in itself speaks to a family-like culture.
After working at a tech start-up this summer, my two major takeaways are as follows:
- It is worth the time to understand and explain the technology. At the beginning of this summer, I was a user of personalization and the software behind it, but being behind the scenes expanded my perspective of what it could become. While my work mostly involved existing products, it is clear that innovation is a mainstay here. It helps when the company believes in the solution, and RichRelevance does a great job of making sure the solution is the star.
- God is in the details. A quick glance at how many draft and re-draft emails I sent Christine show that I slowly, but surely learned. When it comes to technology and especially software sales, every number, detail, and explanation of how things are to be done is vital. Whether it is to outline an SOW or draft a contract, every word counts, and being detail-oriented is a tremendous asset.
Needless to say, I’m glad I picked up the phone the day Christine called about working at RichRelevance, because no amount of pouring over case studies or simulating negotiations (even if it is at the Wharton School of Business) can teach me what I learned at RichRelevance this summer.
Many thanks to my family at RichRelevance!