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Interns: Percolating Performance or Coffee Stains?

StartUp Academy works primarily with business-to-business startups, which students are less familiar with than business-to-consumer startups, said Harrington, who is now program leader for the academy.

“The program lends legitimacy to these lesser-known startups, and students feel secure applying to internships at companies vetted by a leading venture capital firm,” she said. “Thus, StartUp Academy not only makes these startups more visible to students, it facilitates the initial introduction between candidate and potential employer and prepares students for the internal interview process.”

The StartUp Academy program recruits technical talent from top-tier undergraduate, master’s and doctorate programs throughout the country. The program seeks to place individuals who are looking to make an impact at a startup in engineering and product management positions at startups funded by Bain Capital Ventures.

An inaugural 2012 StartUp Academy class was selected during a nine-month pilot for the program. Bain Capital Ventures received 779 applications, from which 21 students were selected to participate.

All participating companies in StartUp Academy are market-leading startups, including BloomReach Inc., Nomis Solutions, Rent the Runway, Sneakpeeq and SurveyMonkey, among others. In addition to working alongside the management teams for these companies, members get exposure to Bain Capital Ventures’ investment partners and gain access to entrepreneurial events hosted and sponsored by the firm in Boston, New York City and the San Francisco Bay area.

Harrington said many students prefer to intern at startups versus more established companies because startup internships enable students to get hands-on experience in a more exciting, challenging and collaborative environment. The flat organizational structures encourage students to innovate constantly and contribute meaningfully, she said. “Startups are best suited for self-starters, who are eager to learn through hands-on experience and make an impact at a growing company.”



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