It was not too long ago when I made the decision to intern at an unknown Fintech startup on the other side of the world named “Call Levels” in Singapore. I truly had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had never been out of the country and never had an internship before. And now over a year later I am forever grateful and happy about the decision I made to go for it.
I knew that I wanted to do something different. After a few failed business experiments and ventures in my hometown, I knew that it was time for me to step further out of my comfort zone if I wanted to get my foot in the door before graduating from Penn State the following year. This is when I decided to apply to Call Levels in Singapore and interview with the co-founder Cynthia Siantar. I must say that it was a very informal interview. Cynthia was wearing a hoodie and sitting on what looked like a bed in a small room inside of someone’s home. It was quite an experience but after speaking with her for about an hour I knew that Call Levels and the startup world was for me.
I really enjoyed the fact that I would be interning for not only a startup, but also abroad. I see myself as an anti-corporate kinda guy. I love the idea of a startup and disruption and that was everything that Call Levels represents. Going in I knew that it would be a bit unorganized and there would be frustrating times for not only myself but the company and the rest of the employees but that’s the beauty of it. No two days are the same and there are always new and exciting challenges to face. I also feel like I could be myself more when interacting with my coworkers. They all quickly became my friends so at times it did not even feel like I was working. Now don’t get me wrong… There was a lot of work to be done and it was frustrating at times but I loved every minute of it.
Going in the first day I had no idea what to expect. I was placed in the growth team where I was responsible for handling the Marketing and Public Relations side of the business. I had a bit of a marketing background coming in that I could apply but there was so much to learn at first that it was pretty overwhelming. I mostly worked with Cynthia on this and she was very helpful at times even though she was always running in and out the office managing every aspect of the company. From handling the social media channels, to managing user feedback to sending out thousands of emails over the summer to journalists and editors at top media publications, I was able to learn a ton and gain some invaluable experience while making new friends and connections. My favorite part had to be going to networking events and seeing Daniel and Cynthia pitch the product to local business people from Singapore. This led me to meet a lot of new people outside of Call Levels and learn about some of their passions.
At the end of my two months with Call Levels I was able to use this experience to get a full time job upon graduating the following year. I now work for a digital marketing company back in the States and even use a few of the skills that I acquired working for Call Levels. I still keep in touch with many of the Call Levels employees and friends I made in Singapore and would not trade it for anything. Interning at a startup was definitely different and not your typical 9-5 coffee internship but I thoroughly enjoyed it and am forever grateful to the Call Levels team for the opportunities they have given me.
This piece was brought to you by Patrick Stacy. Patrick is an American who interned at Call Levels in June 2015. He went on to graduate from Penn State University in December 2015 with a degree in business and is now a Marketing Specialist at Vincodo in his hometown. He still applies what he learned at Call Levels in Singapore at his job today. Patrick is passionate about sports especially the Philadelphia Eagles and loves to travel and meet new people.