Katherine Orgielewicz ’23

Project Tugboat, Brookline, MA

This summer I interned for an organization called Project Tugboat working with Chris Rudnicki ’11. 
Project Tugboat is a mission-oriented start-up with the initiative to help professionals better 
navigate their period of unemployment. However, rather than acting like a career coach and 
focusing on the tactical aspect of one’s job search, such as writing cover letters and résumés, Project Tugboat helps manage the social-emotional challenges. I helped relaunch the digital course that provides lesson plans for people to get back to work faster and with less stress. A 
significant portion of the work I did revolved around researching behavioral topics in order to 
create lessons composed of fictional stories and critical exercises for users to go through as they take the course. About half way through the summer I transitioned to marketing the course. I learned about market funnels, unit economics analysis, and how to advertise on various social media platforms. I then took this newfound knowledge and applied it to writing an email campaign for the B2C contacts I found. I also compiled a plan on how to tackle marketing on Facebook, which was shared with HR contacts of businesses experiencing layoffs and universities 
interested in helping their unemployed alums.

I plan on majoring in economics and psychology and have a particular interest in behavioral economics and cognitive psychology. This internship encompassed both, and I genuinely enjoyed the work I was putting into Project Tugboat. Much of the time it felt more like I was learning about everything I was interested in more than working. For example, I was put in charge of developing a lesson plan for the course on resilience, so I read numerous books pertaining to this topic, and honestly, there couldn’t have been a better time to be exposed to this knowledge than during quarantine. It helped me shape a stronger and more productive mindset. It has even pushed me to work harder in my tennis training as well! In addition, I developed a lesson on how to write résumés and cover letters. Most importantly, I felt like I was making a tangible contribution to helping others during a historic, global unemployment crisis. I went into this summer with the initiative to find a job where I could help in some way to support others during this pandemic, and have been really satisfied with the feeling that I am doing just that. I really appreciate Project Tugboat’s initiative to combat unemployment by helping people psychologically before they rush into the job search again.

The experience and growth from this internship have been very rewarding in itself, and I am grateful to Chris for the opportunity to be given the responsibility to take on such a significant role in his project. His mentorship and kindness were unparalleled, and I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work so closely with him. I also want to say thank you to the ’68 Center for Career Exploration and my internship sponsor Mr. McCalpin for this experience.