Startup Diary

[gini Internship] Reflecting on My Last Day

gini | June 5, 2019

Written By Seth McGaugh

Trading in my swim trunks for a tie, my whole journey here started out because I showed up as the only one wearing a suit… or so I thought.

From the moment I lifted off from the airport in Bali I knew I had only a few hours to get back home, get changed and get back out to the city in time for the startup networking event hosted by Canopy that afternoon. Hopefully, here I would meet some interesting people and possibly find that one internship that has been calling my name. Sprinting across Indonesia’s terrain the past two weeks might’ve not felt like a vacation to most, but I felt ready.

“Own the suit”

A simple, but important newfound expression I adopted to instil a better mindset whenever I set out to make that first impression. I had been conditioned by my business school to live this traditional mantra. The night felt like it was off to a rough start since I found it nearly impossible to even locate the shared space in the maze like malls of Hong Kong. Then I finally arrived at the Canopy event briefly catching wind from the closing remarks of the final presentation:  

“You don’t have to wear a suit,  just don’t be an a**hole.”

 

Unbeknownst to me this was the first words of wisdom to be said by my future employer. As Victor continued to address the casually dressed audience: I couldn’t help but to feel silly for how much his statement contradicted my mindset walking into the room. Fast-forward a couple handshakes and a few phone calls later I had grasped what I soon found to be the opportunity of a lifetime.  

 

From the moment I walked into office till the last day I walked out I could truly feel the momentum here in full swing. Change was happening everyday I showed up to the office, whether we had a breakthrough with our operations, new features designed by the developers, investors coming in to discuss partnerships, renovating the office space, or simply having new talent to join the team; it was apparent that I was with a promising group of individuals. I just tried to keep up with pace, doing anything I could help out with. Gini was totally not what I had envisioned. Well, truly I didn’t know what to expect, but this was far better.

 

I did everything from pitching marketing campaigns to using data analytics to provide social media insight. Some typical intern errands were included of course, but that was anticipated. What I found most important, above all the responsibilities dealt to me, was that my role was taken seriously. It was important for me to be free to ask any kinds of questions I grew curious about. My colleagues would always extend a helping hand if it meant we could grow. It’s hard to explain, but this constant communication and feedback symbolized that they cared to make our work matter. The work culture was nice too ;).

pizza fridays
 

I worked as often as I could permit within my tight schedule. Yet, it never seemed like enough. Everyone at gini works HARD 7 days a week while, I was hardly working. Which, I believe, led my co-workers to suspect that I conspired only to showed up for the Friday’s Happy Hour... they were only half right.

 

My favorite thing to see on Friday was actually the weekly held meeting. It was held to visualize our progress and aspirations as a company. And I already know what you’re thinking...

“Meetings!? What a boring nerd!”

Look, I once hated meetings too, until I saw how the right leaders could implement them effectively, pass around some laughs, and ingrain further motivation to the whole team. Their performance really was ‘epic’ and I hope will hold any future meetings with the same wholesome demeanor as Ray, Victor, and Ricardo did. Besides this, Friday’s were often bittersweet. Highlighted, after work, when we’d have a couple drinks, play a few rounds of cards against humanity, and explore Hong Kong’s nightlife together. Friday was often reserved to celebrate one of our own moving onto bigger and better things regarding their careers.

 

And now while it might not be a Friday, it is now time for me to get going too. The past couple of months have gone by lighting fast and I’ve gotten a lot more direction in my life because I was graced with this opportunity. I hope it’s not the last time I see these friendly faces nor the last time I can help gini become the app we all need.

The first impression is important, but in the long term it’s only the follow through that matters.

 


Notes from the author.

Just want to say thank you again to Isaac, Joyce, Fung, and Jennifer for taking the time to having me onboard. Ray, Victor, Ricardo for sharing your insight and for being a blueprint for great leaders. Calvin, Cédric, Alex, Alan for also being good role models and memorable nights out on the town. Salma and Stella for giving me more authority in what I could bring to the table… Skylar, Kaka, Shunmian for being the hardest workers in the office. I hoped sitting next to y’all would let some of that energy to rub off on me. Benedict, Wing, Patricia, Fioni, New Alex, Kay, Amelie and Inna!  I know that we just met, but I wish you the best at your time here with gini! Also Huge shoutout to Eva for providing the team the best brain food possible. I would’ve traded Friday’s happy hour for the gini meal plan easily.


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