Things I learned firsthand as an intern…at Firsthand

Raf SattarApril 28, 2016

Stakes are high when you’re working in a small team. Whether it’s a missed deadline or a disappointed customer, one mistake can set the whole team behind. With a group of twelve working closely on projects, your mistakes are always out in the open. But on the flipside, the upshot is incredible. As my internship at Firsthand comes to a close, I can think of a lot of ways our office culture helped me grow.

At Firsthand, every action can pay off in many folds—from going the extra mile on project to discovering a clever solution to a client’s concerns. If you put yourself out there like I did, amazing opportunities can present themselves. After volunteering on projects for our sales team, I earned myself a spot at an industry conference alongside the Director of Sales. It’s been equally daunting and exhilarating to have my work count for so much.

Pretty much every day on the job helped me develop a toolkit of analytical and interpersonal skills.

With fewer people involved on projects than typical workplaces, the learning experiences at Firsthand are highly concentrated and very diverse. Just one project could have you learning new Excel functions to analyze user engagement data and communicating new details of a product release to clients. Pretty much every day on the job helped me develop a toolkit of analytical and interpersonal skills. That’s just part of the learning experience the company offers. . 

A small team and a young product means it’s all hands on deck when a deadline is looming. It’s not rare to see the whole team working late into the night to stay on schedule for a project. What’s even more common though is to see the whole team celebrate its wins, big and small. When the company launches a new feature or lands a new client, there’s no question in whether you share in that success. You just do.

Everyone here has a nickname or a funny story that they will always attribute to working at Firsthand.

Deadlines and late nights are some common themes at Firsthand, but so are camaraderie and teamwork. The team shares a quirky bond that can feel a lot like family. Everyone here has a nickname or a funny story that they will always attribute to working at Firsthand. This dynamic is thoughtfully protected every time a new person joins the team. Candidates in the past have been asked about their preferred office snack, their dream super power, and their favorite movie. This is all in attempt to defend a workplace culture that is just as much about fostering a fun atmosphere as it is about getting work done.

There was a real pay-off for being proactive during my internship. If I was the first person to recognize a problem or an opportunity, I would present it to the team and get credit accordingly. On the other hand, it was also my responsibility to defend my ideas, and be mature enough to take feedback. Firsthand fosters a community where we are all accountable to each other. This experience is perhaps one of the biggest growth opportunities the company has given me. I’m incredibly happy for this experience so early in my career – gaining a firsthand feel of a startup culture.


Raf Sattar

Introducing Firsthand

fredrikJanuary 20, 2016

We’re excited to announce that, after five years under the Evisors brand, we’re changing our name to Firsthand and launching a new website. It’s a change that celebrates both where we’ve been and where we’re going. Alongside this name change, we’re also announcing the launch of a revolutionary new product for career offices – The Career Advisor Platform (see below).

Although our name is new, our mission and our commitment to our clients remains unchanged. Our mission is to Democratize Great Careers by connecting as many job-seekers and alumni as possible to enable career opportunities. Under the Firsthand brand, we’ll be unifying our efforts and recognizing that our mainstay is no longer simply selling consultations with advisors, but also developing platforms that elevate careers and engage alumni. Moving forward, “Powered by Firsthand” will be the new moniker that ties together Firsthand’s Platforms, including Evisors.com, which will stay as is.

Why Firsthand?

Connecting job seekers with firsthand insights and help from people with firsthand industry experience is the essence of what we do. We provide a service no one else is doing, namely connecting the job-seekers raising their hands, asking for help, with the alumni extending their hands to provide it. The ascending F in our new logo symbolizes the trajectory of the careers we hope to elevate. The diagonal line throughout our branding symbolizes the upward journey our advisees will travel towards a great career, as well as the ascending path from advisor, to mentor, to job sponsor that our alumni will follow.

Career Advisor Platform (CAP)

Affectionately nicknamed the “CAP,” this new platform is built for career offices and provides access to unlimited consultations with our pool of 4,000+ vetted global career advisors. The CAP is unlike anything we’ve ever offered or that exists in the marketplace today. It gives career offices the chance to offer unlimited on demand career help without having to involve their alumni organizations and without needing a big budget. The CAP is available for purchase now and ready to launch to students this August. Contact sales@firsthand.co for more info.

What about evisors.com and existing AMPs?

Evisors.com and our Alumni Mentor Platforms (AMPs) will remain and operate as before, backed by the same great team and customer service. The only visible change will be the addition of the “Powered by Firsthand” moniker. Firsthand.co will become our new corporate website, but the URLs for Evisors.com and all our AMPs will stay the same.

We could not be more excited to share this news with you and for the great things in store for our advisees, advisors, and clients. Email us at hello@firsthand.co or post a comment below if you have any questions.


fredrik