My name is Caroline Suppiger, a Junior studying Organization and Strategic Management and Marketing with a minor in Social Impact. This summer, I participated in the Skandalaris Center’s Summer Internship Program. Through the program, I interned with a local startup called Generopolis.
Generopolis was founded in March of 2018 by Olin MBA alum, Meghan Winegrad. Since the company is so new, not many people know exactly what it does yet. I like to explain it as a “Craigslist for Nonprofits.” However, when I am writing grants I describe Generopolis as, “the online marketplace for modern giving, where the proceeds from each item sold to benefit a charity of the seller’s choice.”
Without further ado and a shout out to my childhood hero, Miley Cyrus (yes, in the 5th grade I did name my dog after her), here are the 7 Things I Like About You: My Summer with Skandalaris:
Startups let you have A LOT of experience
Because Generopolis is still in the bootstrapping phase, my role as the Business Development Intern was to help wherever possible. I never fetched coffee and snacks for my boss once, I sat in on valuable meetings, worked with Meghan to develop pitches to potential investors, studied the competitive landscape, researched and applied to grants, and set up accounting software through which I developed profit and loss statements and updated balance sheets. It was a very busy summer, let me tell you.
The “casual startup work attire” rumors are true
CEOs and founders wear whatever they want to work. There was a man in my office who wore Crocs to work, and I love it. Even though after one glance at my feet, Stacy London from TLC’s What Not to Wear personally instructed 4th-grade-me to dispose of my orange Crocs, I think this is a real signal that Crocs are coming back.
St. Louis is a really cool place to be a startup
I spent the summer working in a co-working space called T-REX in downtown St. Louis, which was specifically founded to help startups get up off their feet. In addition to this, the Skandalaris Center took us to a few other amazing entrepreneurship incubators around town.
You never know what to expect
If you are ever sitting at a stoplight and hear some really loud noises coming from all directions, it’s probably a tornado warning and you may find yourself in the basement of the nearest Ikea to take shelter from imminent doom.
I have a newfound fondness for podcasts
As part of my internship, I was required to spend 30 minutes outside of working hours building professional knowledge. My boss recommended some podcasts and now I listen to them every day. Check out Revisionist History by Malcolm Gladwell.
There is actually zero reason to not take the metro
The metro is a super easy and cheap way to get to work or even explore downtown St. Louis, and takes the exact amount of time it takes to listen to one podcast episode and a few Miley Cyrus bangers 😉.
My boss is amazing
Meghan is more than a great boss. She is a role model, a guide, and a friend. I am actually a little afraid that I will never have a job as cool and great as this one. (Thanks so much, Meghan!)
Safe to say my Summer was a blast. In fact, I liked my internship so much, that I stayed on the Generopolis team after the Skandalaris Center’s program ended. I will be continuing as the Business Development Intern throughout the year, and I can’t wait to be a part of its growth.