My resolution for 2015 was to “just say yes” to all opportunities that approached me, no matter how intimidating they may seem. As an upcoming senior at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business, this may seem like a precarious resolution to many of you. But most recently, it has led me to accept a summer internship position here at Edison Partners. An opportunity I was both honored to receive and anxious to accept. I was nervous, just as anyone else is on their first day at a new place, whether it be work or school, to learn the unknown.
But what I’ve learned in my first few weeks here is that the unknown can, in fact, be the exciting part. The part that allows me to leave work every day confidently saying I learned something new. The part that allows me to take advantage of the skillful minds around me who have become my mentors for the summer, both educationally and experientially. And most importantly, the part that allows me to discover how the success of Edison comes from hours of diligent dedication, collaborative teamwork, and motivated attitudes that strive every day to form new opportunities.
During the past few weeks, I’ve been encouraged to jump right in and join the marketing team. My initial project: Conduct a content audit, where I organized all of our resources (dating all the way back to 2002!) from events, presentations, and news into one large, easy-to-navigate library. This will optimize our Edge offering even further by having a quick search center for locating any of our past content. To CEOs and aspiring entrepreneurs, remember to reach out whenever you need a best practice, operational framework, etc. - we’re happy to share these resources with you.
The latest project: a website review. Edison launched a new website a year ago, and in the sprit of continuous improvement, they asked me to gather feedback from all employees -- talk about collaborative thinking! This was a great way to connect with almost everyone here at Edison and get to know them better, as well as get their feedback. Make sure to check the website soon for some new updates, we’re pretty excited about them and think you should be, too.
I've also had the opportunity to work alongside the marketing team helping to execute the recent CEO Summit. At this event, I learned a lot about the Edison Edge program, and if I have any advice for companies joining Edison’s portfolio, it would be to readily accept this invitation. The experience that Edison has cultivated can and will be beneficial to your company if you’re willing to take it. In fact, everyone can benefit from learning something new, no matter what stage of life you or your company may be at.
Here are my internship insights inspired by the Edison Edge Platform:
1. Learning won’t stop when I finish college; continual learning is key to success
My internship began focused around the CEO Summit, an experience that allowed me to tangibly witness the work of Edison through meeting many of the CEOs that Edison has invested in, and those that return in mentoring roles in the Edison Edge network. Every year at the CEO Summit, Sausage Making Sessions led by the Edison team and executives of portfolio companies hold open forums for continual learning in key topics relevant to the entrepreneur’s journey to success.
2. Utilize the resources at hand; and thrive
With Edison, portfolio companies take advantage of not only growth investment from Edison, but also the Edison Edge value-add platform. This dedicated set of resources and programs help the firm's investments thrive. Whatever the business initiative, the Edge can assist with establishing, validating or optimizing through network connections, advisory, and executive education programs.
3. Be passionate about what you do, but more importantly, learn from the passion of others
Lastly, one key personality trait observed from those in attendance of our recent CEO Summit was passion. Edison CEOs were not only passionate about their own businesses, but more importantly passionate about learning from their peers. Lessons are most useful when they are actionable and delivered in a manner in which the CEO can implement with practical value. As an intern, I am focusing on actionable learning here at Edison, both for my work here, and my future professional journey.
Just as Edison Edge positions portfolio companies within a professional network for growth and learning, I plan to use this internship the same way - by learning from those who are experienced professionals here at Edison as they not only have vast knowledge of the growth equity field and the industries in which they invest, but even more valuable lessons to share with me based on alomost 30 years of investing experience. In just three short weeks, I’ve already gained so much through this marketing experience and will be joining the business development team for the next few weeks.
Stay tuned for more Intern Insights from the deal sourcing side of Edison.