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What I Learned as an Intern at a Start-up in NYC

As told by Moira Fennell
Summer Finance & Strategy Intern at CardFlight
Class of 2017- The University of Georgia

Movies tell us college is wild, class is unimportant, and when we graduate our entire friend group will be going off to an Ivy League grad school or a job on Wall Street.

Like it’s just that simple.

Sure, there are a select few who’ll send me snapchats from a bar at 4 A.M., then beat me to my 8 A.M. class every day of the week, while also running the biggest philanthropy on campus and maintaining a 3.97 GPA (everyone has to mess up a little bit). These so-called humans are the anomalies. They are by no means the norm.

For the rest of us plebeians, college can be a perplexingly complicated adventure toward getting out on our own and figuring out where life can take us. But watching these people follow the same paths out of college creates another idea—one of what we should be doing.

I admit, I got caught up in the idea that I needed to follow one of the “typical” tracks for finance majors, but by some stroke of luck or chance or fate I missed out on those opportunities and ended up at CardFlight as their Finance & Strategy Intern for the summer after my junior year.

I came in with no expectations—the closest thing I had to startup experience was watching the Social Network—but I was excited to jump in and learn as much as I could, and I soon learned that was exactly what I would need to.

Working at a startup means working according to your own structure. It means diving into projects and learning along the way, and a lot of times it means figuring things out for the first time.

Intimidating at first, I quickly realized how empowering and exciting that was. Of course without set precedents, things rarely go according to plan so flexibility is key. But because of that, I got to work with every team at CardFlight on a range of projects that granted me huge visibility into the company’s financial structure, the dynamics of the payments industry, and the gritty details of making sure a business is running efficiently. I even got my own (sort of) intern!

Now I’m heading back to school for my senior year, and I could not be more thankful that I spent my summer here. Seeing a company grow so quickly and helping figure out how to continue to build it was such an incredible experience.

More than that, the people here are some of the most amazingly talented, dedicated and fun people I’ve gotten to work with. Their determination to make CardFlight a powerful force in payments is inspiring, and I can’t wait to see how they continue to build this company.

This summer helped me realize how many opportunities there are for me, and I know what I learned here at CardFlight will be invaluable as I figure out what my path is over the next year.

Startup life is fast-paced, unpredictable and sometimes totally overwhelming. But I wouldn’t have wanted to spend my summer any other way.

Moira Fennell

Moira did a summer stint at CardFlight as a Finance and Strategy Intern in 2016. A student at the University of Georgia, Moira is a typical Dawgs fan with an atypical passion for all things Fintech. Her favorite haunts include a cosy corner in the office and Brooklyn Roasting Company between 5th and 6th Avenue.