A Enlightening Summer at a Sustainable Beauty Startup

Ashley Lin, WH ’26, Frisco, TX

This summer I had the privilege of interning at Seadrop Skincare which is a newly launched sustainable skincare startup – as a product strategy and marketing intern. Seadrop Skincare created the first of its kind: a crushable, facial cleanser tablet that transforms into a luxurious foaming cleanser with just a splash of water. What’s more, the company ships this innovative creation in packaging that generates zero waste and is entirely free of plastic, aligning perfectly with their core values of benefiting both your skin and the environment.

I was super excited to start the role, but I did not know what to expect; little did I know that over the course of 10-weeks I would be traveling between home and NYC immersed within the startup culture, beauty industry, and the realm of ESG practices.

As Seadrop Skincare implemented sustainable practices within the beauty and skincare domain, I was fortunate to delve into their strategies for minimizing their carbon footprint, thoughtfully selecting responsible materials, and pioneering the production of waterless tablets. I was able to familiarize myself with the company inside and out and also gain a view of the broader beauty landscape, revealing a lack of genuine sustainable initiatives within larger beauty conglomerates.

My initial task involved a meticulous analysis of our prime competitors’ social media presence. This paved the way for determining Seadrop’s optimal positioning across these platforms. Collaborating with my fellow interns, we crafted comprehensive competitor analysis presentations, with a dedicated focus on their social media strategies.

Subsequently, I devised an effective social media framework and seamlessly integrated it into our content creation process. Our content was strategically designed to engage our target audience and showcase Seadrop’s story to potential investors and venture capital firms. Amidst this process, I managed various other workstreams, encompassing tasks such as building databases of potential influencers and investors, monitoring KPIs, bolstering SEO through crafted blog posts and paid advertisements, as well as designing visually appealing social media posts.

While I had some marketing and content creation experience prior to this internship, I could never have anticipated the expansion of my skill set and knowledge that this summer would provide. I was consistently encouraged to embrace challenges and speak to the new ideas I had in mind during this 10-week period. With these experiences, I got a better taste of what it is like to work in a startup environment and learn what goes on behind the scenes of the finished final product that customers see. I’m looking forward to putting these skills and acquired insights into practice during my upcoming years at Penn, as well as in future real-world endeavors. This rewarding summer has sparked further curiosity in sustainability, particularly within the consumer retail sector – I hope to continue exploring my curiosities to see where that takes me next!

This is part of a series of posts by recipients of the 2023 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.

By Career Services
Career Services