Charlie Sebastyn writes about his first week at Affirmed
An internship before my 20th birthday at Affirmed Networks, a tech start-up who was just declared one of the biggest winners at Mobile World Conference 2019. How did I end up here? Honestly, it’s kind of a blur. It began when I started to browse for companies that I may be interested in for internship in the summer following my sophomore year, when my dad mentioned Affirmed Networks. In the past, my father had worked with Scott Heinlein, Affirmed’s senior marketing director, and Ashwin Moranganti, Affirmed’s vice president of product management and marketing. His connections certainly helped, but as I read up on the company was taken aback by some of the technology they were working on and I became determined to end up here. Fortunately, after sending my application with a few emails, I have landed at Affirmed as summer 2019 intern.
As most people would be, I was nervous being that it was my first day working in an office and I had no idea what to do or what to expect. Thankfully, my coworkers were very warm and accepting. I was shown to my desk space first and although it’s nothing special it will my own for the summer. As the rest of the week continued, my nerves settled down each day as I became comfortable with my routine.
Up to this point, I have worked closely with Scott Heinlein and Anudha Sawarkar, getting my daily tasks and projects from them and they have kept me quite busy. The focus of my first two days was getting settled and learning to use the different software implemented by Affirmed. To adjust to the software, I worked on the biweekly sales newsletter sent out to inform the sales team of progress and updates on our products. In addition, I also have been working on a customer newsletter outlining Affirmed’s 5G educational blog series. Another newsletter I have worked on is the market intelligence report where I was tasked with familiarizing myself with the information and organizing it into a simple newsletter.
Following the newsletters, I designed a QR code flyer for the Affirmed booth at 5G World London taking place June 11-13. The QR code prompts visitors to download the Affirmed UnityCloud eBook. Trending towards growing our brand, I have also been tasked to increase traffic on our LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook pages. Affirmed has given me the software needed to track our progress with a wide array of data and statistics to make it much more intuitive.
There are a lot of things I hope to learn from my time here. I am still in college, so this internship is a great way for me to apply what I have learned so far and create a foundation of experience and knowledge to take back to school with me. Personally, I want to feel comfortable with a multitude of tasks ranging from social media work to technical writing and some design concepts. As far as skills to take away from this experience, I’d like to learn how to better manage my time, market a product to potential or current customers, expand my software portfolio and understand how enterprises go about their everyday business.
Overview of the First Week
Coming into this internship, I expected to be the office mule and do grunt work all day for the next 3 months. Fortunately, that is not the case and I have been assigned projects to apply what I have learned in school. In addition, my coworkers treat me as an equal rather than a subordinate which makes life in the office much more joyous. The people here have been nothing short of wonderful during my first week here making me feel as comfortable as possible in a new environment. I am extremely proud to call myself an employee of Affirmed.