By Devon Rauth, Intern
When I first started looking for internships, CashStar quickly jumped out as an ideal choice. Named as one of the Best Places to Work in Maine and ranked on Inc. Magazine’s fastest growing companies, CashStar was by far the most exciting company on my radar. I knew applying was aiming high. Fast-forward a year – now I have the privilege of reflecting on the collective five months I spent at CashStar. The following are just a few examples of the benefits that an internship at a high-growth company like CashStar offers.
Arguably the biggest benefit of interning at CashStar was the opportunity to meet an interesting and diverse group of people. Not only did I get to know the tightly knit department I was working with, but on more than one occasion the CEO and I struck up conversations about things like the tech and payments industry, my own field of study, plans for the future and so on. It was great to have this exposure to the CEO, which may not have happened at a larger company.
In addition, I was able to meet with several department heads within the company, many of whom were kind enough to take the time to get to know me and share their experiences and advice.
Learning on the job in a cutting-edge industry
The CashStar team made my on-the-job learning easier by welcoming me as a true member of the marketing team. Not only did they patiently answer my questions and show me the ropes, but they offered me the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with tools such as the company’s CRM and marketing automation platforms, and take my mastery of spreadsheets and PowerPoint to the next level with a series of data analysis and reporting projects.
If I’m honest, the prepaid commerce industry was not one I expected or planned to become involved in. However, this internship exposed me to the vast world of ecommerce, NFC and mobile payments, giving me the chance to see how well-known, global retailers operate their digital gifting and prepaid programs. This kind of insight did exactly what a good internship should – help expose students to the various opportunities available to them and help them get a feel for what it would be like to work in a particular industry.
Perfecting ping pong skills
The improvement I saw in my ping pong game was definitely one of the most unexpected outcomes of my time at CashStar. Never would I have guessed that ping pong would be an almost integral part of an office’s dynamic, but learning is what an internship is all about, right? Ping pong quickly became a regular part of my routine. Need a break from staring at that spreadsheet? See if anyone is up for a match. Having trouble finding the solution to a difficult problem? Grab a paddle. There was never any shortage of willing opponents, and it became another place to meet people from other parts of the company.
My time at CashStar was a fantastic learning experience. It has given me the opportunity to learn new skills, meet and learn from a diverse group of people and take on new challenges alongside them. Everyone at CashStar – from the people who hired me to the CEO – made me feel a welcome part of the team and I cannot thank them enough.