Owen Hiland ’22

Hello Raye, Boston, MA

This summer I worked remotely at a tech startup in Boston that deals in the furniture space. Hello Raye can best be described as a unified platform for designers, dealers, and manufacturers to make 3D models available, view inventory from across manufacturers, and facilitate collaboration between members of a design team. Hello Raye also sells digital catalog services to furniture brands—for example, if a company has an inventory of products they’d like to display online but does not want to go to the trouble of designing a custom site, Hello Raye’s service offers a customizable site template that can be used to provide models and showcase products. My role in the company was with the software engineering team, basically working on whatever task was most pressing to them. One of the things I loved about the startup environment was the fact that things move very quickly, and I could always be certain that my work would become valuable to the company immediately.

Not a bad view for a day at the “office.”

Working at Hello Raye was my first time on a development team. I became interested in the prospect of working 
for a startup after becoming disillusioned with the process for getting hired at a big tech firm, where it can often 
feel like you’re rolling the dice, or worse—that you don’t have a chance of being hired at all. Consequently, I was 
thrilled to find a company like Hello Raye where I could make a personal connection to my prospective employer—
I reached out to the CTO of the company directly for this internship—and feel reasonably certain that I’ve been a valuable addition to the team.

My experience at Hello Raye has been amazing. Just weeks into the internship, I was making changes to the site that were immediately reflected in the user experience. And as I grew to understand the company better, I found myself actively determining the direction of my work and suggesting projects to my supervisor, who was very receptive and immensely encouraging. All of this is to say that I was more than engaged in my work for the summer, and I was thrilled by the variety of tasks I got to try even within the relatively small environment of our site. As I finished the summer up, I found myself wishing I could continue working on the site, because over these last three months it has come to feel like something which I have helped develop not just in the technological sense, but in a most emotional and proprietary sense as well.

Without the generosity of Ashesh ’92 and Louise Shah, my participation in this internship—and my immense enjoyment thereof—would not have been possible. I look forward to making the most out of the opportunity given to me in applying the things I have learned this past summer to my career in the immediate and indefinite future.