From Intern to Full-time

At Wishlist, we use internships as a way to gauge an employee’s potential success before bringing them on full-time. Over the past few years, some of Wishlist’s best employees have made the transition from intern to full-time. Here’s how they made the cut, and their top pieces of wisdom for turning your internship into a full-time gig:

 

 


 

 


Mackenzie Davids
Director of Operations & Customer Experience

 

How did you find your internship with Wishlist?
I was actually working in fan recruitment for the Denver Cutthroats minor league hockey team at the time. I stumbled across Wishlist on Facebook and thought that adding our tickets to the Urban Living package would be a great marketing and sales opportunity. After setting up our vendor partnership, I asked if Wishlist was hiring. I went in for an internship interview the next week, and the rest is history!

 

What was your favorite thing about the Wishlist internship?
The opportunity for growth. I have learned so much in my time here about sales, product development, relationship management and beyond. I was able to explore what I was best at and given room to grow into areas that weren’t my strengths.

 

What skills did you learn as an intern that helped you transition into a full-time role at Wishlist?
Time management was probably the most valuable life skill I learned from my internship with Wishlist. In a startup, there are always a million things to do that are all equally important and need to be done ASAP.

Do you have any advice for anyone looking to intern with a start-up?
I think the most important quality any intern at a startup needs to possess is a desire to learn. There are so many opportunities, but to get the most out of your position you really have to be a self-starter, who is eager to tackle any challenge thrown your way! If you see something is broken, fix it. If you see something is missing, build it.

 

Renee Standage
Customer Success Manager

 

How did you find your internship with Wishlist?
I was on the hunt for an internship during my senior year at CU Boulder and I heard about a club called StartUps2Students. This club connected students with relevant startups in the community. I submitted my resume and was introduced to a Wishlist team member who interviewed me and later headed up my intern class that fall.

What was your favorite thing about the Wishlist internship?
One of my favorite aspects of the internship was the level of responsibility that I was given.  The team expected me to hold my weight but also empowered me and gave me the tools to rise to the occasion and take on more than I thought I was initially capable of. The internship was very hands-on and multifaceted so I was able to learn a lot in a short amount of time while gaining confidence in real business situations.

What skills did you learn as an intern that helped you transition into a full-time role at Wishlist?
An important skill that I learned was being able to recognize ways in which current business processes can be optimized. It is crucial to not only recognize bottlenecks in day-to-day operations, but it is equally important to provide actionable solutions at the same time. I also learned how to communicate more effectively and professionally which comes in to play every day.

Do you have any advice for anyone looking to intern with a start-up?
At times the culture at a startup can be chaotic and you might not be filling the role that is most appealing to you. My advice is to work through the “not so glamorous” aspects of the internship because you will learn a lot about yourself and also experience a sense of accomplishment when you progress into new roles. Start-ups provide a great opportunity to be stretched and challenged, so apply to internships that aren’t your obvious choice!

 

 

 


Jessica Meyers
Vendor Relationship Manager

 

How did you find your internship with Wishlist?
Back in the early days, Wishlist’s office was located in the Impact Hub Co-Working space. I was actually interviewing for a position at the HUB when I was introduced to Wade, our CEO. We got to talking about Wishlist and eventually I joined the team.


What was your favorite thing about the Wishlist internship?
I liked how receptive the team was toward new ideas and suggestions from everyone. I was interning at Wishlist during the early stages of our first expansion out of Colorado. This was a project I helped with significantly and was able to make some suggestions and develop the processes that eventually became the guiding principles for our expansion. This is the kind of company where you can sit down as a team, someone can propose a new idea or solution, and then be involved start-to-finish with the execution of that project, how cool is that?

 

What skills did you learn as an intern that helped you transition into a full-time role at Wishlist?
Communication. My role as an intern was focused on communicating with vendors, this helped me fine tune my phone and email skills as well as the ability to really clearly pitch a product that is always evolving.

 

Do you have any advice for anyone looking to intern with a start-up?
Be flexible, adaptable and willing to learn. In the beginning, there are a lot of opportunities and a lot of flexibility to take on projects. Be willing to help with whatever you can, you never know when someone might give you a project that becomes your full-time role, or when you will learn a skill that you will take with you for years. In short, working for a start-up is fast-paced, a lot of fun, and a constant balancing act, approach it with an open mind and you will learn more than you thought you could in a short amount of time.

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