I was lucky enough to spend my spring break at Quirky, a startup company in New York City that works to make “social product development” a reality. In other words, Quirky asks anyone from anywhere in the world to submit their ideas for inventions, and then if that idea is chosen, their entire team will work to try to turn that idea into a product on inon the market. Pretty cool, right? Even better, I got to take part in the process this week for choosing the ideas that the company will work on and so much more. I had the chance to meet with employees with many different specialties within the company ranging from product design to brand management to operations. So much happened in only three days, and as a result, this Princeternship has given me a life-changing perspective about my career search.
When I arrived, I met the other two Princeton students who were involved in this experience with me and we were given a full tour of the new Quirky headquarters. This office was unlike anything I had ever seen: the conference rooms had glass walls so that the space felt open for collaboration. The tables in each room were designed by the Quirky team and were supported by unique objects such as sinks, toilets, and high school lockers. The main office space was also a large open room so that there was no separation among employees and departments. This setup really captures the atmosphere of Quirky where everyone works together on all of the steps in the product development process and where everyone is enthusiastically engaged in the company’s mission. This was demonstrated to us as well; even though we were hosted by one person, we still had the chance to fully interact with over fifteen other employees and departments. Our experience really showed the team-oriented environment of Quirky and the hard work that is put in by all of the people who work there to make their company successful.
Most importantly, I want to take this opportunity to once again thank our alum, Nikki Laffel Kaufman ’07, for making this Princeternship possible. I got my first real experience in business and I met a wide range of people who have been valuable resources in helping me figure out my next step in my career journey and to learn about the real types of opportunities that are out there. The people at Quirky are what really make this company incredible, and I am deeply grateful to have gotten to spend time with them over the past three days. Thank you again, Nikki and the entire Quirky team, for making my spring break unforgettable!