Sydney L. Jones ’21

Project Tugboat, Brookline, MA

This summer I had the opportunity of interning with Project Tugboat, a start-up company dedicated to providing those who are unemployed with courses that help support their social and emotional wellbeing. I assisted the development of the company’s key product—the social/emotional lessons—by researching topics such as behavioral sciences, psychology, cognitive science, and religious studies. I also worked directly with the CEO and Williams alum, Chris Rudnicki ’11, and assisted in ad hoc related projects and digital marketing initiatives.

One of the most valuable things that I learned during this internship was how helpful it can be to be on a team. Up until now, I had always told myself that I work better alone, and that a team environment had never been the most conducive for my learning/work environment, nor experiences. However, because this internship not only contained many moving parts, it was also remote, and not utilizing my team members would make this internship extremely difficult. In order to find solutions, share workloads, and clarify directives, we had to be in constant communication with one another to ensure everyone was on the same page; thus, it was imperative that what I said be clear and concise.

Additionally, I was able to deepen my understanding of the fundamentals of marketing this summer. I have had marketing internships in the past; however, I was never taught the fundamentals of marketing. I was always expected to “learn on the job” and to ask questions when necessary. During this internship I was required to make sure that I established a certain level of understanding of these fundamentals, which in turn, helped me to understand the company’s marketing initiatives/funnel, as well as to contribute meaningful solutions to the company’s challenges in marketing the course.

Because I was able to work so closely with Chris, I was able to observe how much effort really goes into building a start-up business. My experience this summer has inspired me to build a business of my own. Furthermore, interning with Project Tugboat solidified my vision for continuing my education to pursue a graduate degree. I also realized that I may be more interested in a career in consulting—perhaps brand strategy/marketing—than I previously thought. Being able to work with a company and to help generate strategies of how to best develop the brand, marketing strategies, customer lead generation efforts, etc. was a very enriching and challenging experience for me. It forced me to be a more creative and expansive thinker.

I am incredibly grateful to the ’68 Center for Career Exploration and the Class of 1966 for this opportunity. This internship has allowed me to make meaningful contributions to the current unemployment crisis in this country that the Covid-19 pandemic has raised to historically high levels.