In Their Own Words: The Interns of Place Technology
It’s no secret that Austin has emerged as one of the leading tech hubs in the United States, with thousands of young professionals looking to get involved in the dynamic local scene each year.
Place Technology launched its internship program in October of 2020 with the goal of offering an immersive startup experience for local undergrads that’s accessible and equitable (read: paid) while preparing young talent to enter a competitive, dynamic industry.
Most interns join as Jr. Business Development Reps (BDRs) on our sales team. After that, they have the option to explore opportunities with other departments depending on interest and fit.
Jr. BDR Ava Wheeler reports: “I have definitely improved my skills at Place. I have gained an extensive amount of experience in and knowledge of Salesforce, which I did not have any familiarity with prior to my internship.”
Marketing intern Jorge Cantu is very much enjoying his experience at the strategic finance startup. He said: “Place offers a great internship experience. The entire team is nothing short of extraordinary, and I have had so much fun here. It is such an open work environment anything from having dogs in the office to team lunches weekly. Everyone here shows up every day and wants to see this company grow.”
Jr. BDR Mateo Delaguila said: “ Whether you want to learn more about marketing, product development, or entrepreneurship the resources are here and the opportunities are endless.”
The Place team values the fresh perspective, drive, and capacity for hard work that interns bring. CEO Brandon Metcalf said: “At Place, one of our core values is 'Think Bigger'. For us, that means contributing to the thriving startup environment here in Austin. We offer driven, talented, local undergrads the opportunity to get their foot in the door of a dynamic industry like B2B technology. The business benefits, too. Our interns are rock stars who play a critical role in helping us achieve departmental and company-wide objectives”.
Place Interns In Their Own Words
What advice would you give someone in your position who is about to start an internship?
Mateo Delaguila: Do not take this opportunity for granted. You will learn more than any professor can teach you and you will be given the resources to succeed in the future. Take advantage of the opportunity to network and hang onto every piece of advice that Brandon and (sales manager) Aaron can give you.
Ava Wheeler: Go in with an open mind! Don’t worry if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing right off the bat, an internship is a learning experience. Also, be confident and don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’ll make your life much easier!
Jorge Cantu: I would say learn everything you can and try and make a name for yourself. Network with everyone there and attempt to create as many relationships as possible. Because, in my experience, I have realized no company will ever be perfect. However, if you are able to see what you have enjoyed more and disliked from your experiences, it will help you find a company where you wake up every day and be happy to go to work. Aside from that, you will be able to slowly create your own network and have them as a guide throughout your career.
What do you think you have brought to the company?
Mateo Delaguila: I hope I've brought joy and laughter to everyone in the office. I know I have at least made our office manager laugh with my request for chocolate milk. I also bring an excellent music taste that I share from time to time when I am able to play music over the speakers.
Ava Wheeler: I’ve been able to assist the sales team with finding potential customers very well. Like the other interns, I work very hard and carefully to do so.
Jorge Cantu: I would like to say I have been able to pioneer the internship experience here at Place. Being the first intern here I have seen the company grow and change in the past eight months. With the help of my former manager Aaron Drummond and the sales team, we were able to create leads in the most effective way possible in order to create a bigger pipeline for our sales team. Aside from that, I am the first intern undergoing the rotational program after a conversation with Brandon. He allowed me to experience other aspects of the business aside from Sales to understand all of the fundamentals. I am currently working as a Marketing Intern for several weeks.
Is this your first internship?
Mateo Delaguila: This is my second internship, my first internship was with an education consortium at the University of Texas called Project Males. I was an undergraduate assistant for our signature course "LatinX Males in K-12 and Higher Education", where we analyzed the intersectionality of ethnicity within the education system.
Jorge Cantu: No, I actually began interning with different companies starting my freshman year of high school. I actually interned at another tech startup my senior year of high school and it is so interesting seeing the process of two different companies grow.
Did the Covid situation impact your experience of entering the world of work?
Ava Wheeler: I would say that it definitely has. I had hoped to find an internship last summer, however with the pandemic it was incredibly difficult. I ended up working as a part-time UberEats driver. I was very excited to have been offered an internship this summer, and I’m very happy with my internship here at Place Technology.
Mateo Delaguila: The pandemic was very difficult. Halfway through my freshman year, after getting acclimated to the college lifestyle and living on my own I had to go back to my hometown. There were not very many internship opportunities and from March to August I felt like my life was stagnant. I was not making any progress in entering the world of work and any progress I did make was essentially erased. I spent my time in my bedroom playing video games for hours on end. When August came around and it was time to return to Austin for my sophomore year, I promised myself I would work as hard as possible to make up for all the time I lost.
What do you think of the relative merits of working at home or in the office?
Mateo Delaguila: Although working at home is comfortable and you can be on zoom calls with pajama bottoms on, nothing beats the atmosphere of an office. When I come to the Place office every day I understand that I have one objective and that is to work as hard as I possibly can. Being in the office frees me of distraction and really allows me to connect with the Place team on a personal level. I don't just look at the people in the office as coworkers, to me they are friends, mentors, and teachers.
Ava Wheeler: I think working from home is a major convenience and allows for a lot of flexibility, however it is difficult to establish a solid company culture with employees working remotely.
Have you improved your skills in your time at Place? What have you learned?
Jorge Cantu: Definitely without a doubt. I would say being at Place has made me feel more confident in what I can do. I have constantly been challenged with tasks because my managers believe that I can do it. Whether it is creating a certain amount of leads in a week or creating an ebook from scratch. I have learned so much at Place that I do not believe I could have learned at any other company. I have learned how essential creating a strong employee culture is, how important your approach in sales is, marketing fundamentals, and that the sky truly is the limit.
Ava Wheeler: I have definitely improved my skills at Place. I have gained an extensive amount of experience in and knowledge of Salesforce, which I did not have any familiarity with prior to my internship.
Our cohort of interns plays a critical role in shaping our company’s culture. Watch the video below to learn more about our approach to fostering an environment where everyone can succeed: