Not long ago, I had the chance to sit down with Brent Grinna for lunch while he told me how he’d been fundraising for his alma mater—Brown University—when he was struck with the need for a better way to connect with alumni. He had that epiphany three years ago, and now he is the successful CEO of EverTrue, the leader in linking alumni and schools.
That talk with Brent is characteristic of my internship at this startup: EverTrue walks the talk of its mission to build relationships. And everyone here is actually enormously generous with their energy and insight (despite the fact that on the EverTrue website they all appear to be 2-D robots). Connections are prioritized with an understanding that this work is more than just a job.
I also got my roots in EverTrue through Brown. Having only recently transferred to Brown and spent my previous summers traveling, I was in the thick of maintaining scattered communities. Skimming through the pages of internships on Brown’s wonderfully extensive job and internship board last March, EverTrue caught my eye. At first, admittedly, it was because “Ever True” is the title of Brown’s fight song (Coincidence? I think not).
But what made me apply to EverTrue was its mission. I was lucky enough to have my interest reciprocated; I only truly realized how lucky I was to have my spot at EverTrue when I walked in the first day and was thrust into this creative hotspot and open culture. I am now halfway through an internship that has helped me develop marketing skills, given me insight into startups, and provided so much more of an education than a coffee-running internship ever possibly could.
EverTrue is almost like a maturing young adult, towing the line between “graduated and responsible” and “cool and fun.” There’s a Ping Pong table in one corner, next to a TV that served both as a projector for meetings and a congregating spot for every World Cup game. Everyone and everything seems to double as professional and energetic.
This balance is what I want to create throughout my career—certainly a defining culture ever worth being true to.