Virtual Internship Stories: Kerem Yilmaz

September 14, 2020

Name: Kerem Yilmaz
School: General Studies ‘22
Major: Economics and Statistics
Center: Amman
Internship: Wamda Capital

Introduce yourself! What’s your name, major, and where are you interning this summer?
I’m Kerem Yilmaz, and I’m from Turkey. I’m in the Dual BA program between Science Po and Columbia, School of General Studies, and I’ll graduate in 2022. My prospective major is Econ-Stats.

For whom are you working and through which Global Center?
I’m currently working at Wamda Capital with the Global Center in Amman.

Tell us a little bit about your work. What are some of your daily responsibilities?
My title is officially Financial Data Analysis and Data Entry Intern. Wamda Capital is a venture capital, and my day-to-day job is that they send me various files of various startups, approximately ten per day, and I spend approximately half-an-hour on each of them, so four to five hours every day. I basically enter data regarding where the startup is located, who the founders are, how much money they make on a yearly basis, what is their expected revenue for the next year, how much money are they looking to raise, what is their business model, etc. Basically, we’re creating a database of startups that have submitted a pitch to Wamda Capital before, and they want to keep track of their previous startups so that they can have a better estimation about the future.

What is a specific project on which you’ve worked that was especially engaging or rewarding?
They started giving us files from A-Z. They have four interns now, and each day they send us the files, and the project is basically this: we are filling out the database. Each of us has our own file that our supervisor looks at and oversees every day. Once the project is done, our work will be done.

What drew you to applying for this internship?
I worked at a startup exploration hub before, last year, as a summer internship, and I really liked what they were doing there, and I really liked to do more startups to have an idea of what to do in the future, entrepreneurship-wise because I have been, myself, interested in entrepreneurship before, and I wanted to see how that’s going on from a venture capital perspective. This is important because if I want to do my own entrepreneurial project, I’d like to see how a venture capital, how an angel investor, or any investor looks at the pitches they receive.

How would you compare the experience of a virtual internship to a more traditional, in-person internship?
I worked in a startup exploration hub last year as a summer intern, and I worked from nine to five there, and most of the time, either I was not doing anything or I was just hanging out outside and trying to get to know people. But this time, I schedule how I’m going to work. I dedicate four, five hours. Sometimes I spread it over the day. Sometimes I do it at night if I have stuff to do over the day. I think the virtual [internship] has been going really well, much better compared to the one I did last year, because the one I did last year was five days of the week times eight hours of the day. It was taking so much time for not so much work. 

Do you have any tips for future virtual interns?
I think the most important thing is that you should know what you want to do, based on your prior experience. I knew that I liked working with startups or with exploration hubs because of my previous experience, and I knew that I wanted to follow something virtually because if I did something virtually, I would be able to allocate my time however I’d want. So the only tip I can give is that they should know what they are looking for.