28 Jun Inside the Internship: What’s it Like Working with Yardline?
This year marked the kick-off of Yardline’s first-ever summer internship program, drawing in undergraduates from coast-to-coast to collaborate and working with Yardline on our Marketing, Product, Risk, Technology, and Strategic Initiatives teams.
Joining and working with Yardline at an exciting pivot point, each intern had the unique opportunity to jump in hands-on as we expand onto new horizons.
So, after kicking off their summer on the front lines of FinTech, what does the inaugural class have to say about working with Yardline?
Growing in Practice
Skylar Smith, a Public Relations and Strategic Communications major at American University, describes the internship as an ideal step toward reaching her career goals: pivoting into marketing from events planning and building up a valuable new skill set.
“I’ve learned something new every single day and I’m doing something different every single day. [My team] allows me the space to do things on my own and see if it works/if it doesn’t and I get feedback from there.” As a member of the Marketing team, she plays a highly integrated role in strategically promoting our upcoming events and sponsorships.
This sense of independence is shared across the intern class. Richard Sham, joining us from Baruch College where he majors in Finance, notes how he appreciates “being able to apply skills [he] had before. It’s a great blend of learning and being hands-on,” the successful balance of which he attributes to “really great open communication.”
Learning Something New Every Day
Besides our open-door policy and all-in approach to skills development, Yardline also hosts lunch-and-learns each week for our interns to gain more visionary perspectives from our full-time team members. Topics range from internal growth plans to the e-commerce industry at large.
Kings College Finance major, Hayden Hill, comments on his most recent lunch-and-learn with Yardline President Tomo Matsuo: “his ultimate vision was really inspiring—to see his roadmap and his ideas for the future.” Hayden adds that working alongside “lots of smart people [in an industry with] high growth potential” makes him excited about a possible career in e-commerce.
This sentiment is echoed by Quinn Wagner, studying Computer Science and Business at Fordham University: “I’m learning a LOT more about how e-commerce is run; it makes me want to venture out and start my own e-commerce firm.”
Getting Inspired by FinTech
While all arrived with at least a consumer understanding of e-commerce, many of our interns had little or no exposure to the FinTech industry prior to working with Yardline. However, after only a few weeks hitting the ground running, the career inspiration is buzzing.
“Seeing these big companies make tons of money in the Fintech space is super inspiring [and] knowing more of that ecosystem is changing how I picture my career,” says Richard, who is taking a deep-dive this summer into niche marketplaces and platforms as part of our Strategic Initiatives team.
Kelsey Zeng, who is also a member of the SI team and studying Symbolic Systems and Human-Computer Interactions at Stanford, gained exposure to finance from previous internships, but agrees her opinion of the financial services sect is altered by her time here.
“It’s been great to continue in the finance space, but in a new capacity that draws on my tech background. There’s so much value and excitement in the work here; it’s easy to feel motivated,” she confirms. Kelsey also credits her pleasant experience to the unique team dynamic: “I enjoy working on smaller teams, […] balancing between different projects. The work’s been fun, but I think the people I’m getting to work with have made the strongest impact.”
Feeling Supported (Even Virtually)
While most full-time Yardliners work remotely anyway, creating a virtual internship that offered the same level of engagement, networking, and support as the “in-office” model was a challenge we strove to face head-on.
When asked if there were any downfalls to the virtual model, Brandon Caballero, a Finance major at Fairfield University, had a very clear point of view: “not at all. If I have a question I can just Slack someone or hop into a quick Zoom call and share my screen.”
In fact, Brandon notes that of his previous experiences, the Yardline internship is by far his favorite. He explains: “There’s a lot of overlap between the different teams [and] it’s pretty cool working all together. […] I really love the culture here.”
Being a small (mighty) team, many of the interns agree: Yardline’s support and appreciation for their work is abundant. In Hayden’s words, “they’ve really rolled out the red carpet for us.”
Building a Blazing Future
As leaders in the FinTech space, we’re always working to optimize our “now” to stay ahead of a bold runway. To this end, we recognize the value of empowering our next generation of professionals to take ownership of their work and actively explore their curiosities.
Relationships are at the heart of everything we do at Yardline—whether with our partners, customers, or team members—and building lasting connections with our interns is no exception.