This is part of a series of posts by recipients of the 2021 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they spent their summer. You can read the entire series here.
This entry is by Gerardo Ballesteros, WH ’23
This summer, I worked as a growth intern for The Mindfull, an early stage wellness venture that aims to form virtual-first communities around finding your answer to life’s bigger questions. Because of the Career Services Funding Grant, I was able to use these past few months as an opportunity to learn fundamental marketing skills and apply them to help The Mindfull grow their customer base in its earliest stages. Overall, as a student with broader goals of working as a founder or an early employee at an impact-oriented startup, interning for The Mindfull has been instrumental in helping me define a path for my post-Penn aspirations and giving me the tools to succeed in it.
As an intern at The Mindfull, one of my core responsibilities was around developing a strategy for viral growth within The Mindfull’s customer base. Using a combination of quantitative metrics like conversion rate and K factor, as well as qualitative approaches for collecting customer insights and testing assumptions, We were able to build a framework for ideating, testing, and iterating different viral marketing tactics that we then used to launch various initiatives throughout the summer.
Another aspect of my work at The Mindfull was focused on helping establish an approach to developing creative assets for content and digital marketing. Naturally, because of the curriculum-driven nature of The Mindfull’s core programs and weekly sessions, it was important for the team to establish a strong brand centered around community mindfulness and support that with a strong library of related visual/written content. Because of this, I had the opportunity to learn the basis for what makes a startup’s content great, and then use that knowledge to develop a series of paid ad and social media templates that could continue to be utilized after I concluded my internship.
Outside of the professional aspect of the work, what really made the internship so valuable was the opportunity to experience the programs for myself, and the direct mentorship I received from the founder. Getting to hear about each user’s journeys and the impact The Mindfull had on their mental wellbeing was a huge motivator for me as the summer progressed, and I continue to use many of the wellness tactics I learned from The Mindfull in my daily routines. Additionally, being able to work in a direct feedback loop with the founder and hear about the lessons he learned during his time as an entrepreneur was equally as impactful on the way I learn and work today.