What does it mean to Bootstrap? A story of BootstrapVT 2019 Internship
When I applied for this internship, I had no idea what was in store for me. I remember first walking into VCET and being blown away by the space. It eventually dawned on me that I could have the privilege to create, imagine, and discover in this space. It seemed like a dream come true, and it was when I got hired as one of BoostrapVT’s two-intern team. The team was made up of Geoff Strawbridge as CEO and founder accompanied by two loyal scrappy interns named Dylan Jacobs and Katie Amendola. Together we made up the BootstrapVT team, and when summer finally came around, the real bootstrapping began.
The first few weeks were filled with necessary fundamental skills training in digital platforms such as Google Ad words, Facebook ads manager, Mailchimp, and we received in-depth client reviews to prepare us to start bootstrapping our clients. After our first two weeks of getting comfortable and confident in these new platforms, we were able to begin working more personally with our clients.
Bootstrapping is defined: “to finance your company’s startup and growth with the assistance of or input from others.” With this definition in mind and a long list of clients, opportunities began to emerge everywhere for us as interns to bootstrap for our clients. As interns, Katie and I were challenged to go beyond the pencil-pushing tasks of a day to day intern. Doing copies, getting coffee, and running memos were tasks Katie, and I never received. We were not only invited but, encouraged to take part in every possible piece of our client business. From email marketing to poster design to pitching an idea to a CEO, we had the privilege to be part of it all. It was exhilarating and chaotic all at once.
My experience was personal and eye-opening. I was encouraged to ask questions, try new ideas, fail, succeed, and have fun. I learned how to work on a team and meet deadlines. These deadlines had a meaningful impact, and this impact would result in significant, measurable increases in sales, awareness, and clicks all thanks to the BootstrapVT team. What’s better than doing work and seeing that has meaning? Nothing.
If you have the privilege to work on the BootstrapVT team or work with Geoff, I highly recommend it. It was one of the best decisions of my life, and I will never forget it.