#6 Connecting your studies to your academic exploration

 To my utter surprise, I guess I’d never thought about working for a startup but somehow it fits me well. I was originally intended to work for TRUiC because of the research component in the job. However it turned out to be more than that. The creative atmosphere and the collaborative, laidback working culture really sold me. I enjoyed the mario kart or smash bro competition during that 1 hour lunch break time. I enjoyed the conversations that happens around the open table during lunch, whether it is about trade war, submarine, current news, China, US or all that stuff. Most of the time I was just listening through the logical reasoning of my supervisors and colleagues, but I really appreciate that intellectual sparks in the office. At work, I feel like my opinions and ideas are being valued by my colleagues, regardless of whether they agree or not. They listen and give feedback. I still remember the day when one of our intern CPB had this idea of implementing a workflow process that could potentially be a good blueprint for this project. After a 30 minute long debate between supervisor C, CTO M, and this intern CPB, with me listening on the side, they finally reach to an conclusion that CPB’s idea is more of a top down approach which works well when in a more established corporate, while for this project a bottom up approach fits more. From this conversation I happen to see different thought processes clashes, and it is truly very exciting for me to be there. I enjoy a place where constant learning happens, where curiosity actually makes a difference. I heard about latest tech gigs, marketing strategies, industry trend from all these interesting people that happen to be in the same office at one time. It is fun, full of comradeship, closest to some extent. I still remember the chill pepper challenge when CPB and Ant had it Facebook live, with the ghost pepper in their spiciest curry from Tuptim. They acted as if they were on a food show, commenting on the favor of food as sweat falling of their forehead…Lots of good memories in the past 3 month for sure. Needless to say I liked the people in the office too. It’s strange, but for the first time I felt like I actually belong somewhere, and felt very proud that I am part of it. If I have to sum up with a few keywords about my experience at TRUiC, I’d say:

research, creativity, ideas, problem solving, constant learning, meaningful(as our website is with an aim to help small business owners), fun, laidback, supportive.

I’ve already decided to keep working for them part time during the fall semester. As a senior I guess my life will be as busy as hell, with lot of recruiting, networking and courses going on. I wouldn’t expecting them to sponsor me for work visa or anything after graduation, but I want to see how they grow as a startup, and enjoy the company of my coworkers. Entrepreneurship now become one of the keyword in my job research now. We will see how this goes. 

Supervisor C said TRUiC is more like a think tank type of startup, where idea and content is our core strength. I think he is right. I know I’d love to be in think tanks from the start, and eventually I ended up interning at a place like it. Perhaps I should keep exploring that path, but not limited myself only on think tanks in D.C.

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