Warmilu Welcomes (Virtual) Summer Interns! Neha Satish & Cahil Potnis
The Warmilu team has welcomed aboard our Summer 2020 interns —virtually, of course. We are excited to welcome Neha Satish, a rising sophomore at the University of Michigan majoring in Computer Science – Engineering, and Cahil Potnis who is a rising junior studying Neuroscience at Georgia Tech.
I met with Neha and Cahil to discuss why we are all inspired to warm babies. With their STEM-heavy prior experiences, I am looking forward to giving the interns the opportunity to expand other skill sets, such as business development and marketing. Learning skills outside of the classroom, especially in applied real-world projects like the ones we have at Warmilu, enable interns to test out new skills in a meaningful work environment. The lessons they learn and the skills they develop help Neha and Cahil become better assets to any future team. In addition, it has been a joy seeing the interns learn so quickly and be so enthusiastic about new learning topics. They present their work completed, challenges, what they learned, and the next steps in a weekly meeting. Our internship structure has led the interns to treat the virtual internship as professionally as any in-person experience. We have been successfully co-working virtually on Google Hangouts. It feels almost like we are working together in person, which leads to productive, impactful work and completed deliverables such as social media posts that are triggering real growth and new partner acquisitions.
What are we hoping to learn and do this Summer 2020?
Cahil: I am looking forward to learning a whole new side of business that I’ve never been a part of before, which is marketing [and developing] strategies [for] growing a startup company like Warmilu. If I wanted to create my own startup in the future, this experience would definitely give me invaluable insight into what goes on behind the scenes. I have so much to learn from Grace and this experience as a whole and I’m excited to broaden my skillset further.
Neha: I am most looking forward to discussing Warmilu products with potential customers. We recently made packs for Dorothy Nyong’o (yes, the Academy Award Winning Lupita Nyong’o’s mom) to help save some beautiful babies out in Kenya, where resources are low especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. New customers will help save even more babies, and seeing that impact will be incredible!
We hope to give her an opportunity to also learn more about web design and how it impacts sales.
What is it like co-working virtually versus having an in-person internship?
Co-working has had its fair share of dropped calls and audio, but our summer team has worked through it! Warmilu has been fortunate to work with two interns who have had prior, in-person professional internships.
When we asked our interns what the differences were, Cahil said, “the biggest difference between a virtual internship and an in-person internship is the natural sense of camaraderie that emerges from working with your co-workers every day. In a virtual internship, it can be a challenge to work while maintaining good communication with your teammates but, at Warmilu, we have been able to balance these aspects through weekly virtual meetings and the utilization of organizational online platforms such as Trello.” That is so true, Cahil, in addition to using wonderful aggregator messaging platforms like Franz to centralize all of our communication. We have even sent a meme or two to the summer interns! “We are hip,” joked Grace and Neha added, “having a virtual internship experience is unlike anything I have experienced so far. With meetings that feel more like group calls, I feel closer and more comfortable with my boss and fellow intern, Cahil, than I probably would have in an in-person situation.”
Why Warmilu, according to the interns!
Cahil and Neha have both had wonderful reasons to persevere through virtual coworking technical challenges.
They both care deeply about warming babies.
Neha: My gateway into the world of pediatric medical devices was through an episode of Grey’s Anatomy in 7th grade —seriously! When Grace lectured in one of my engineering classes, her passion for warming newborns lit my fire to help the next generation in any way I could. Seeing a chance to apply my coding skills to improve both the company’s marketing elements as well as the technology itself, I welcomed this opportunity into my life.
Cahil: I wanted to intern at Warmilu because there were just so many things to love about the company. While watching Grace’s TedXDetroit Talk on Warmilu, I could feel her passion for the company and its mission and this is what captivated me into wanting to join the team at Warmilu.
What has been your favorite part of the internship so far?
It has been a productive and busy three weeks! We asked the interns to conduct some self-reflection and they shared their favorite moments.
Neha: My favorite team accomplishment so far has been seeing how the social media graphics we made boosted website visits and led to tangible sales. As a computer science student, learning about the user side of these apps really helps with future app development ideas.
Cahil: I think my favorite thing I’ve done so far is designing a graphic expressing Warmilu’s involvement in the Black Lives Matter movement on social media. This was my favorite task because it felt rewarding to, not only help Warmilu share its stance on the current social circumstances, but also to help spread awareness of the broader societal issues that are occurring right now. #BlackLivesMatter #BLM
We have all had to pivot our strategies, our goals, and our lives as a result of COVID-19. But Neha and Cahil are right – sometimes the best growth can come during challenging times that force us to think differently. I am proud of every Warmilu team member and partner for not just pivoting but striving to grow our impact, digital outreach, and innovation.
Cahil and Neha, thank you for joining our team – I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together! I have been learning from the two of you so far and can’t wait to see what the summer has in store.
Be the change you want to see in the world!