By Daniel Olivan on November 11, 2015
We've all heard what internships are all about — you work in a company for a month of two, usually doing clerical or administrative duties, and learn the tricks of the trade by observation and immersion. It's an important experience that exposes every student or fresh grad to how a different companies work, especially if they intern more than once for different companies, but only a few companies can provide a truly exciting internship experience. Machine Ventures is one of those special few.
Machine Ventures prides itself for "transforming ideas into companies." They do not invest in business ventures, nor do they simply provide financial support and guidance to help grown an already existing company. They build companies, and help others turn what was once an idea into a real and operational product. In other words, this company knows how to turn entrepreneurial dreams into reality from scratch.
Likewise, interns who take part of Machine Ventures' apprenticeship program will get no less than the full Machine experience. They will work alongside the founders of company in seeing the whole process through: from brainstorming for ideas, to developing the product, to finally launching and seeing it take flight. Machine Ventures interns don't only get the industry exposure that they need for the duration of their stay — by the end of the program, they will have come out as budding entrepreneurs.
But don't take our word for it. Here three Machine Ventures interns, who were more than happy to share their internship stories.
Josh, 22, is a fresh graduate of University of Santo Tomas' AB Legal Management program, and was an intern in Machine Ventures from August to October 2015 before eventually becoming an official employee of Machine. He has been working closely on creating one of Machine's apps called HeyKuya, a text concierge service in the Philippines. As an intern, he helped start and establish the initial working for the HeyKuya service, as well as responding to user inquiry and requests.
Since time immemorial, I’ve always told myself that I will never work within the confines of the corporate cubicle a.k.a the typical 9-5 corporate job. I’m not saying that corporate jobs are bad and all. My adventurous lifestyle and enthusiastic approach on life just won’t last long in a traditional business.
Corporations offer a lot of perks to hook a fresh grad like me. Offers come in different forms: high pay checks, company cars, gym access, etc. Machine Ventures, on the other hand, offered me just one promise – I’ll get to witness the birth of company. For an aspiring entrepreneur like me, it’s the only perk I’ll ever need at this point. I mean, it’s not everyday you’d get to pioneer emerging companies, right?
I’ve been enjoying every working day since I started about a month ago. It’s not the kind of work environment where you’ll start to long for the weekend when it’s just Monday. And here, we don’t have to compete with nor impress anyone. You’ll get to work with highly competent and talented people who will motivate you to learn and do your best!
Yes, I know. I know what you are thinking. It sounds too good to be true. But it is!
Nico, 21, just graduated from the BS Entrepreneurship program of De La Salle University-Manila, and, just like Josh, was an intern in Machine Ventures from August to October 2015 before eventually becoming an official employee. And also like Josh, he was also closely involved in creating HeyKuya. Along with Josh, he helped lay down the groundwork for HeyKuya, and continues to be involved with the app today by responding to user concerns and requests.
I am a fresh graduate and I've been an aspiring entrepreneur since high school. But I've never been so sure with what business to start, because I don't have the resources or the expertise to give me a competitive edge in a particular industry or niche market. Since graduating, I’ve been looking for work experience in the hopes of acquiring relevant skills and understanding better how I could establish an entrepreneurial career for myself in the long term.
I have interned for a few companies and I was constantly disappointed because I felt that I wasn’t learning much from them. I always thought of my ideal internship as one where you were treated like a real employee or partner, with serious responsibilities and challenges, and the opportunity to grow with the organization as they involve you with the nitty-gritty of management and strategies to build the business. Instead, I’ve worked for companies where I was given menial tasks, such as photocopying, packing brochures, organizing databases and such. After my third internship, I told myself I wanted a better learning experience. I decided I wanted to work for a startup, because unlike established companies, startups value their interns for their autonomous creativity and contribution to the organization’s development.
And then I discovered Machine Ventures. On my first day, I immediately got this startup vibe upon entering the room. It wasn’t like any of the previous offices I’ve worked for: crowded, systematic, and corporate. For Machine, it was more like it—I had a better feel of the work environment.
Although small, it was fresh and full of potential. As soon as I started, I was involved with HeyKuya, an SMS-based personal assistant. I was given the concept of what the startup was about during the interview, but it was afterwards when I realized that we were literally starting from scratch! My co-intern and I didn’t have anything to work on because there really was no product yet. We pioneered HeyKuya along with the founders by making use of what we have and we can do with our laptops to create a business out of the idea. And today, just a little over a month after we began, I was able to observe first-hand how the idea grew into something with a hundred users out of nothing! It is a very fulfilling experience, and there is so much growth potential for the startup and to anyone who is a part of it.
Thanks to Machine Ventures, I’ve found myself in a community of entrepreneurs who transform ideas into companies. I am able to work with a lot of brilliant minds who know how to innovate and build the businesses of the future. I am definitely at the right place with the right team, learning what it takes to be a true entrepreneur.
Nat, 22, is Machine Ventures' Marketing Manager. When she started out two months ago, she built databases and designed algorithms to organize the company's user data, as well as to provide indicators of the performance of their businesses. Later, she branched out to doing marketing work, particularly "imagineering" the brands of their products and strategizing on how they could get more users. She set up their various social media channels, and currently manage them and the content they produce. She is also currently a Business Statistics professor in her alma mater Ateneo de Manila University.
I’ve always loved the process of building something new so being part of the creative process is one thing that gets me really excited. Whether it’s building on an interesting idea or recreating myself constantly through growing my set of skills, I enjoy getting my hands dirty while being part of a rapidly changing environment.
When I started working with the awesome team I met at Machine Ventures, I knew it was a fit. Right away I was given huge responsibilities to challenge current norms in the market and I was more than happy to face these challenges with the determination to see a breakthrough. I was also surrounded by teammates and mentors who were as hungry for change as I am. In just a short amount of time, I’ve already learned so much because every task or project reminded me that I’m at the forefront of business, even if it meant getting a little crazy.
Some people are daunted by the idea of starting with absolutely nothing, but I saw it as an opportunity to make one hell of a mark in the world we live in today, and change the status quo we’ve grown so used to. While I have the freedom to make several decisions to grow the business, I still hold myself accountable for these because at the end of the day, I know I have a team that has my back and places its full trust on me. There really is no space for mediocrity here in Machine Ventures, only people who are willing to hustle, get the job done and go above and beyond.
I’m an entrepreneur and business leader, and with Machine, I get to create. What more could I ask for?