5 Things I Learned While Interning at a Tech Startup in Atlanta

Renee Dodson

Renee Dodson


August 04, 2017

5 Things I Learned While Interning at a Tech Startup in Atlanta

Renee Dodson, intern
August 04, 2017

As a business student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, I have been asked “Why intern at a software as a service company?” and “Why Deputy?” I always answer that I have wanted to experience the fast-paced culture of a rapidly growing tech company, understand the SaaS industry, and gain insight for deciding what I want to do when I graduate. Deputy is a cloud-based workforce management software company whose mission is to make the lives of employers and hourly workers easier. In my three months at Deputy, I was able to work with a sophisticated SaaS team that was undergoing a brand evolution, website optimization project, complete inbound marketing rollout, and has been driving towards 4x growth year over year.

I can honestly say that I was excited to go to work every single day. Deputy has shown me the importance and value of creating a positive work culture. Not only have I developed lasting friendships at Deputy, but I have received in-depth training in the SaaS industry and have been able to manage my own projects. For those of you considering applying to next summer’s internship, or if you’re looking for insight into Deputy’s culture, here are five things that I have learned during my summer at Deputy.

1. You gain family – not coworkers

I met individually with each employee at the Alpharetta, Georgia office during my first week at Deputy. One of the questions I asked everyone was what was their favorite part of working at Deputy? I noticed a trend. Everyone said the same thing: the people. Not only does Deputy excel at workforce management, but they excel in hiring quality individuals. The people at Deputy are real. They work hard, they have fun, and they care about you. Rather than a careless hello and shallow conversation, mornings at Deputy start along the lines of listening with genuine interest to one of Christina’s stories about her childhood in Puerto Rico, Alex’s rendition of Despacito, or how Keith created a GIF of Sam. From having lunch with the President to attending a happy hour with the CEO to regular interactions with colleagues, Deputy employees not only work together, but they also do life together.

5 Things I Learned While Interning at a Tech Startup in Atlanta-02Deputy team volunteers with HomeStretch

2. You’re given real responsibility

No getting coffee or perfecting the art of scanning and making copies around here. One of my favorite parts about this internship is that Deputy is invested in helping you build your resume. Most college interns are given limited responsibility or busy work, but not at Deputy. You are given one or two major projects for the summer and a breakdown of how these projects can be presented to future employers. Of course, with real responsibility comes real challenge. My project was time-sensitive and had the potential to directly affect the close rate of the Deputy sales team. I found this responsibility both refreshing and exciting.

3. You’ll get EXCITED to go into the office

Pause for a moment and think. How often do you hear your friends and family say, “I’m excited to go to work.” Probably not often. If you pay attention, the average American spends a large quantity of time complaining about their job. You’ll notice, as I did in my very first day, that Deputy is not average. One of Deputy’s mantras is “No Suits Allowed”, and I think that really says a lot about the Deputy culture. Blending professional service and comfort, flexibility and focus. Everyone at Deputy genuinely enjoys coming into work because you have fun. You’ll find Nerf guns, fidget spinners, basketballs and pranks. Lots of pranks. You will be able to participate in quarterly volunteer days as well. Free snacks, coffee, and happy hours are frequent at Deputy, in addition to team lunches provided every Wednesday.

To give you some perspective about the comedians we have around Deputy, here is a short clip I helped to produce:

4. You are second in charge

Deputy refers to second in command. You are second in charge to the customers that you serve every day. This mantra is applied in the Deputy community in that employees are encouraged to ask questions and to challenge everything. Rather than being written off as “just the intern,” interns are treated as one with the team. Deputy leadership empowers employees by remaining extremely flexible and taking recommendations seriously. You feel comfortable approaching leadership with new ideas and projects because Deputy leadership emphasizes that they are partners rather than superiors.

5. Life happens

Instead of the traditional nine to five, clock-in clock-out mentality, Deputy promotes a schedule that is flexible with life. Everyone at Deputy works hard, but they understand that sometimes life happens. I had a flat tire this summer, and instead of receiving criticism, my manager offered to pick me up. If you want to go to the gym or attend a yoga class during lunch, you can. Deputy promotes work-life balance, and that can be challenging to find in today’s working America.

5 Things I Learned While Interning at a Tech Startup in Atlanta-03Deputy team takes a break to enjoy @kingofpops

Interning at Deputy has been a fantastic experience.  I now have context for the type of company culture that I would like to find when I graduate.  For those of you looking to intern at Deputy in the future, be prepared to step into an incredibly fast-paced, challenging, and fun environment.  If you are interested in learning more about working at Deputy, check out our careers page here. Welcome to Deputy!

Important Notice
The information contained in this article is general in nature and you should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs. Legal and other matters referred to in this article are of a general nature only and are based on Deputy's interpretation of laws existing at the time and should not be relied on in place of professional advice. Deputy is not responsible for the content of any site owned by a third party that may be linked to this article and no warranty is made by us concerning the suitability, accuracy or timeliness of the content of any site that may be linked to this article. Deputy disclaims all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded) for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information contained in this article and any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.

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Renee Dodson
Renee is the summer 2017 intern at Deputy North America, and she developed and implemented the Business Development Representative role at Deputy in three months. She is a Business Administration student at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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