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Through the Eyes of the Intern

As my time with GeoRiot comes to an end, I thought it might be time to reflect on all of the amazing experiences I had here in Seattle with the awesome crew at GeoRiot. As I sit here on this overcast Seattle day, it’s hard to believe that nearly five months have passed since I sat down at the Tamarak Brewery in Missoula Montana, to have a beer and talk internships with Jesse Lakes and one of the GeoRiot partners, Shannon McGuire (who also happens to be Lakes’ wife). A lot has changed since then, and my time here at GeoRiot, working next to Lakes, Shannon and Jesse Pasichnyk (CTO), has been one of the greatest experiences of my life… (right up there with sky diving of course!).

The Job
It’s really hard to say what my actual position was at GeoRiot, because I was exposed to so many different aspects of the business each day. My official title was “Intern!” (yes, with an exclamation point,) which CEO Jesse Lakes loved to remind me of each day, with a smile. Whenever a new challenge arose… or when the recycling needed taken out… I would always hear Lakes bellow across the table in his best executive voice, “INTERN!” and that was my cue to get to work!
Between saving the world and taking out the trash, however, I was able to work on some amazing projects that I hope will have a major impact on the company in the future. I may have been just an intern in the beginning, but they took me in as part of the team and entrusted me with some very interesting and important projects. I have gained more knowledge and experience working along side this small team, than I did in many of my college classes. Each day brought a new task or new problem that needed to be solved, and I was given free reign on how to approach and tackle whatever that may be.
Although I joke about taking out the recycling (part of any good intern’s job,) there was no point along the way that I ever felt like my work was menial, busy work simply to keep me occupied. I was given tasks that were important to the team, and was expected to get them completed on time and to the best of my ability. I have learned an incredible amount over the summer and I hope that I was able to help relieve part of the enormous workload they all bear each day.
Lessons Learned

I couldn’t begin to list everything I learned in the short time I was out here, but these are a few takeaways that stand out to me:

  1. Balancing work with personal life. This is a very difficult thing for many of us to do, and I’m sure if you asked them, the GeoRiot team would like a lot more personal time! From my point of view, however, they seem to have a very successful formula figured out, that allows them to still go out and do all of the things they love to do, while maintaining an incredibly successful startup.
  2. If you aren’t having fun at work, then why be there? This seems to be the underlying theme that’s weaved into the GeoRiot framework. Although not all parts of the job are fun, the team at GeoRiot is passionate about their business and loves the work that they do. The best way to become an expert at something, and live a rich life (not always necessarily in terms of money,) is to find something you are passionate about and pursue that.
  3. Go with the flow. Honestly one of the most important things that I learned working with GeoRiot over the summer was to just relax and go with the flow. Life will inevitably take you in many different directions and through many rough times, but rather than trying to fight against it, work hard at the things you’re passionate about, and everything else will eventually fall into place.
Closing Thoughts:
As much as I look forward to getting back to beautiful Montana, I am really going to miss everything here at GeoRiot. It has been a great summer, full of new adventures, new people and new opportunities. I have learned an incredible amount, and am very lucky to have been able to be a part of such an awesome group of people. Thank you again Lakes, Shannon, and Pasichnyk for making this an unforgettable adventure!
Signing out,
– Intern!  (Joey White)