For the past two months I have been working for a local start-up called Vago Logistics. The company is part e-commerce website and part delivery service, whose main draw is the idea of $1 delivery that does not have any minimums or tips involved. Think GrubHub but WAY cheaper. The company was started right here at Penn by a Wharton senior. Though we are still working our way through issues with web hosting services and bicycle locks, we have been running a successful beta for the past month. Right now, we are a small group of only about 12 employees, though we are currently in the process of hiring a couple full-time people.
How I got the job is really a remarkable story. I was walking down Locust Walk one day towards the beginning of the semester. A guy wearing a University of Michigan shirt walked past me and, being the overly excited freshman that I was, I stopped him and asked if he was from Michigan (my home state). He said he was indeed from a city only 30 minutes away from mine so we started to exchange small talk. By the end of our two minute conversation, he had asked me if I wanted to work for Vago. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity, and now I have been working with the start-up for a little over two months. My responsibilities started with basic stuff – putting together bikes, registering them with Penn police, etc. Now, I am in charge of managing all interaction with the press. I write press releases, contact newspapers and keep in touch with food blogs. My duties are sort of basic, however, the experience I have gained from just being part of the organization has been invaluable. I sit in the office with the team and we brainstorm ideas and talk about the future of the business. I have learned so much about start-up companies, business law, web hosting, business models – essentially anything related to starting a small business.
Working for Vago has been the best coincidence of my life. Most freshman do not get an opportunity like this, so I am trying to take advantage of every second of it. I have met great people who will be able to serve as mentors for me in my future as well as gained a ton of useful experience in the field. And to think that all of this came from asking somebody where they’re from.
Erik is a current M&T freshman in the Class of 2016. He is majoring in Materials Science Engineering within Penn Engineering and has yet to declare his concentration in the Wharton School. In addition, Erik spends a considerable amount of time in the M&T office, where he is a student worker.