The Mid-Career Internship

Internships aren’t just for kids anymore.

Ever since becoming unemployed, I’ve been telling my story a lot and everyone seems to love the chapter on how a few college internships completely shaped my career arc. It’s been 15 years since I last wore my intern hat and I’ve decided to spend some time “interning” again.

This week, I joined Trinity Ventures as an entrepreneur-in-residence (EIR). My “normal” friends (the ones not in this weird world of startup acronyms I live in) have been asking me what an EIR is and the easiest answer I’ve been able to think of is… “I’m like an intern. My job is to learn.”

The first 3 days (and 16 meetings) were not only a crash course on venture capital itself, but I was lucky enough to learn from passionate founders innovating in industries ranging from consumer packaged goods to transportation to robotics. As someone who has been heads down focused on one company at a time, one industry at a time, one team at a time, it has been enlightening and humbling to rip my blinders off and expand my peripheral vision.

Like an internship at a sausage factory (or so I would assume), I’m getting a direct view into how the (venture capital) sausage is made.

From attending the infamous Monday partner meetings to drinking from the fire hose of the dozens of companies pitching Trinity weekly to actually working on the investment team, I am excited to be back in intern mode.

Every internship I’ve taken in life has charted the course for me in one way or another. In high school, I was a software programming intern at JPL (thanks Dad) and quickly learned I wasn’t fit for sitting in front of a computer all day so I decided to do the natural opposite thing: sell knives. In college, I scored my first startup internship, which led to my second, which then led to my third, which led to my first job, which led to my first IPO, and eventually led to my first founding experience. I can’t wait to see what “first’s” this internship leads to.

I keep getting asked about my next chapter and while I still don’t know exactly what it will entail, I’ve decided to title this one “The Return of the Intern.”