What Happens at a Startup

Hello folks! Do the intricacies of the working of a startup excite you? Do you wonder what it takes to work at some of the top startups in the country? We at Summer in a Startup(SiS) had an amazing opportunity this winter to find answers to these questions through interviews with a couple of interns at Sokrati. Sokrati is an exciting new startup which provides a digital marketing platform to online retailers, to boost their online presence.

Shilpa and Raghav were the two interns we interacted with.Shilpa is responsible for the promotion of Google adverts, while Raghav looks after their Facebook launches.

This blog outlines our conversation with them, to give you an insight into the working environment of Sokrati.

Q)What skills did you require to land an internship in Sokrati?

Both Shilpa and Raghav clearly mentioned that they had no specific knowledge about the kind of work they were expected to do. They were just aware of the fact that Sokrati specialised in digital advertising. Raghav said, “I had to give an interview which was based on basic analytic and logical thinking. They paid good attention to my communication skills. I wanted to work as an intern in the nontechnical side of Sokrati, hence I did not require any other skill apart from being able to think pragmatically and answer appropriately.” Moreover, both Raghav and Shilpa mentioned that, when they joined Sokrati, they were given training for around 2 weeks about the kind of work they had to do. Shilpa also shared, “We are given a ‘Buddy’ (ie. an employee who has been working with the startup for a while) and a mentor who helps us out in whatever problems we face. This makes the learning process very easy and efficient.”

All that one requires is the desire to learn and the attitude to bring about a positive change. They claimed that being able to communicate and interact with people effectively are also some things which a startup looks out for in an intern .

Q)What do startups expect from students while hiring them?

Raghav and Shilpa both agreed on the fact that, all that one requires is the desire to learn and the attitude to bring about a positive change. They claimed that being able to communicate and interact with people effectively are also some things which a startup looks out for in an intern .

Q) Why did you choose to intern at Sokrati?

Shilpa simply replied, “ I had a subject which dealt with digital marketing and I found it really interesting. When Sokrati came down to campus, it caught my attention as it revolved around digital marketing. I started reading more and eventually decided to apply for an internship here”. Meanwhile, Raghav wanted an internship that’s conducive to learning .

Q)What is the difference between working in a startup and a company?

Shilpa and Raghav strongly felt that the learning curve in a startup is much steeper than in a company. Raghav shared, “Here, I am given a new task every week, execution of these tasks require me to learn something entirely new. To meet the learning criteria for a particular task, I talk to my mentor, who in turn trains me for around half an hour for a few days. The variety of work kills the monotony and makes it more enjoyable.” Raghav also added , “The working environment is way cooler here, everyone here is easily approachable, even the heads of various departments!” They also mentioned that they were unable to distinguish themselves from full time employees.

Q)How did you accustom yourself to the working environment?

For both the interns , working in a startup was going to be a completely new experience altogether , but while talking to them we soon realised that the employee centric atmosphere made things really smooth and simple. Shilpa claimed, “Getting accustomed to the working conditions was very easy as everything here is really flexible. I feel comfortable here and the people make me feel at home.We also have few activities lined up apart from our work. For example, we had Secret Santa this Christmas and coincidentally I received a gift from the CEO himself! He even asked me whether I liked it or not!”

Getting accustomed to the working conditions was very easy as everything here is really flexible. I feel comfortable here and the people make me feel at home.We also have few activities lined up apart from our work.

Q) Working as a team is really important in a startup. How do you function as a team?

To this Raghav replied, “Yes, working as a team is essential. In order to ensure that we learn to work as a team, we have something called the ‘daily scrum’. It is a session during which we, as a team, discuss, ideate, synergise and brainstorm. This gives me a new direction to think in and helps me improvise.” Most importantly this session helps them bond and work together as a unit.

Q)How is this internship helping you frame your future?

Raghav and Shilpa felt that they had grown tremendously over such a short period of time and wanted to continue working at Sokrati . Raghav said, “As of now, I want to keep working here and haven’t thought much about the future.”

We hope this blog gave you an insight into the everyday challenges and experiences of working at an exciting startup like Sokrati. The skills that are expected from you to work at a startup are best learned from those who have been through this. To learn more about such personal accounts of people who are working at top startups and for another interesting Startup Story, stay tuned for our next blog on ‘What Happens at a Startup’