My name is Sunket Patel, and I am an advertising major student at Temple University in Philadelphia.  I was fortunate enough to land an internship at one of the area’s food-tech startups called, xtraCHEF.  For three months, I worked directly with many members of the organization and wore many different hats.

Background:

xtraCHEF is a cloud-based invoice processing and cost management platform built for the restaurant industry. Simply take a picture of your invoices with our mobile app (or scan and upload) and xtraCHEF digitizes the entire invoice, extracts line-item detail, and imports the data directly into your Accounting or Inventory Management System. We then provide a number of cost intelligence features, including COGS reporting and analytics that allow you to keep your food costs low and your quality of service high across one or more locations.

What I did at internship:

As an inside sales and customer success associate, I have a unique opportunity to work on technical and interpersonal skills.  I support our clients across a variety of topics including – onboarding, software configuration, product training, problem resolution, and act as a liaison when it is necessary to escalate issues to other team members. I also assist sales and marketing team towards lead generation and preparing marketing content.

What I learned at my internship:

Since I was sixteen years old, I have worked at various organizations.  All these jobs had structured teams and tasks for me were very well defined.  Working at a start-up gave me lot of opportunity to do different things as every team is trying to get most done with least resources.  I was able to feed off the entrepreneurial zeal of the start-up team and understood what it took to bring new ideas into reality.

Ideas and inspirations:

Working at start-up isn’t for everyone.  Many times, things look chaotic and out of control.  There is always more to do with less resources.  There is pressure to please each customer because losing one customer can jeopardize all your work for a month.  However, working in a start-up environment taught me how to think like entrepreneur.  Before, I used to think that cool ideas could become business ventures.  Now, I know that I need many other things to turn cool ideas into a company.  Do I have a right team?  Do I know my target market and verticals?  Can my idea scale?

Conclusion:

My internship has given me perspective on differences between large organizations and start-ups.  I have realized that I clearly enjoy the quick thinking and multi-tasking demands of new organizations.  I enjoy solving problems and challenges associated with new organizations.  My internship has inspired me to start a company of my own someday!