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MIT student blogger Connie H. '15

Lace, Gourmet Candy and Dorothy by Connie H. '15

an inside look into the most fabulous internship in san francisco

Congratulations, universe. You’ve managed to put me into another… unique situation that is mildly difficult to explain.

“Hey Connie, what are you doing this IAP?”

“Oh, you know. I’m working at a startup in San Francisco — in SOMA, to be exact. Doing some design stuff.”

“Oh, cool! What are you working on? What does your startup do?”

“We uh…

….

we’re a next generation e-commerce startup. In stealth mode.”

By October many of my friends and I started looking for an externship (a short internship) through the MIT Alumni Association facilitated program that matches students with job opportunities offered by MIT alumni. These positions cover everything from shadowing a doctor to working a brief stint at a finance giant in New York to doing research in Hong Kong. Naturally I gravitated towards positions that offered the opportunity to do design work. I finally decided to pursue a position at a fashion startup that boasted a fresh combination of technology and fashion design. By December I knew I would be working at MeCommerce, led by Heidi Zak and Dave Spector (two MIT Sloanies)!

We’re doing some serious business by using the most advanced technology our in house developers can fathom and applying it to the gorgeous designs from our in house designers. And although the details are still hush hush, I can say a lot about the work I’ve been doing over the past two weeks. I immediately got started wireframing an iPhone app and have been finalizing the user experience using proto.io (silly-fast mobile prototyping — it’s gorgeous!) over the past week. Because we’re a small team working on a huge dream, the office moves very quickly and the app is scheduled to be built ASAP. Talk about silly-fast!

And so far, startup life has been pretty much what I imagined. Everyone on our team is driven, great at their job, and happy to do anything to keep us moving forward. And it doesn’t hurt that our pantry is stocked with Sugarpova, the gourmet candy line by Maria Sharapova (unfortunately my tennis skills have not progressed despite all the gummi sharks I’ve been eating). We work hard, play hard, and nobody (openly) judges me for lying down in front of the fireplace to work on my clipboard. It almost feels a little bit like MIT — except with more Costco food and no tests. :)

I still have plenty of things left to do during the next two weeks. I came in with a list of goals, and I’m slowly accomplishing all of them. This happens to be an amazing place to pick up things on the job — even overhearing snippets about working with different clients, coordinating with manufacturers, and making sure everything runs on schedule has taught me a lot about how a business should function. I learned that in the apparel industry, there are fit models who are brand standards for different garment sizing. There’s even one bra model, Dorothy Galligan, who has been the quintissential 34B for decades, who is still going strong!

Working at this startup has also brought me home for IAP, which has been a blessing. Being so close to home has given me plenty of opportunities to run around the Bay Area and beyond to shop…

clockwise from top left: Sephora, Haight-Ashbury, Ranch 99 (DISCLAIMER: I did not buy the lamb placenta… because the store was closed), and Games of Berkeley

and eat..

.

Bacon, Apple and Brie with Tortilla Corn Soup from The Melt in SOMA, Classic Sliders and Tots from Phil’s Sliders in Downtown Berkeley, and homemade brie and pear / smoked cheddar and ham grilled cheeses with the boyfran

and eat more…

Apple, Cinnamon and Honey Crepe from Crepe Express in Haight-Ashbury and an adorable cupcake from the Teacake Bake Shop in Corte Madera

and more…

Lots of korean food from Bowl’d on Solano in Albany with the girls

and just a little bit more…

Two gigantic scoops of green tea ice cream from John’s Ice Cream in Downtown Berkeley for TWO DOLLARS! Yuuuuum.

And that concludes my journey to arteriosclerosis. Just kidding.

Come to me, preciouussssss…

And finally, in a desperate attempt to ward off diabetes, I’ve decided to author a cookbook featuring my father’s delicious (read: the opposite of delicious) morning gruel recipes: 50 Shades of Gray: A Tale of Lust, Soybeans, and Flavorlessness.

Independent samples of gruel. #fml

If you’re wondering, the gray color comes from the sorrow and tears of the soybeans that constitute most of the gruel. (And black sesame powder.)

 

In any case, I can’t believe there are only two weeks left in the Bay — but I’m making the most of it. :)

More from me soon!