By Marc Courtemanche
As I enter my junior year in high school, I feel a lot of pressure to start figuring out what I want to do with my life. From an early age, I have been interested in business, especially owning one. When I was younger, I did everything from running lemonade stands to shoveling driveways. I’m learning, however, there is a lot more to business than finding the right mix between water and lemonade powder. With my future looming around the corner, I sought a short internship in a local startup, hoping to learn more about business. I figured if I spent a week at a business I could try to wrap my brain around any small piece of information that might point me to a future career. After consulting a family friend, I was introduced to the VP of Marketing for 6 River Systems (6RS), a company that makes robots to help warehouse workers do their jobs better. A quick call confirmed that they would be happy to accommodate me for a week, which was a welcome surprise, as not everyone is willing to take on such a young, inexperienced intern for such a short time.
Coming into the internship, I had very low expectations. I was certain that the people at 6RS wouldn’t have time to interact with me one-on-one, and that I would be stuck shadowing an employee for the week, doing odd jobs and coffee runs. I opened the door on my first day and awkwardly stood in the entryway, unsure of where to go. Seeing me standing there, the Accounting/ HR manager put down her work, introduced herself and led me to where I would be working for the week. I spent my time in a cozy office space of five people, an environment that was conducive to interacting with the people around me.
Once I arrived, I was immediately put to work seeking out businesses and contacts for the sales team to target. I learned what kinds of companies 6RS is trying to target, and how to find the right contacts within the companies for the sales team to reach out to. Everyone did an amazing job of breaking my days up, whether through trips to the warehouse or running out in the rain to fetch 6RS marketing merchandise. When people didn’t know me, they introduced themselves. When I was alone, people stopped by to ask how I was doing. It was uplifting and unexpected to be included in both the company’s affairs and the everyday work.
During my short stint at 6RS, I was able to ask as many questions as my heart desired, see what everyone was doing and learn about how marketing and sales work together in a rapidly expanding startup. I’ve already begun to wrap my head around the processes that go into closing a deal. I know there is much more to learn, but I’m extremely thankful for what I’ve been able to glean this past week.
This post was written by Marc Courtemanche, a Lexington High School junior.