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Life as an Innovation Intern at WhatAVenture

Wondering what it means to intern at WhatAVenture? Check out our interview with Maxi to discover his journey and get insights into his time at WhatAVenture.

WhatAVenture team during a workshop.

Q1: How did you join WhatAVenture?

Before my internship at WhatAVenture, I was studying international business in Munich. Coming from a family business within a very traditional industry, the topic of innovation fascinated me from the start. Working in such an innovative environment and getting to know various fields led me to apply at WhatAVenture.

Q: How were your first weeks at WhatAVenture?

The first weeks were primarily focused on onboarding and acquiring as much methodological know-how as possible. What helped me during that time was the team spirit. The team constantly drives each other, as well as the company, to new peak performances. Feeling that spirit during the strategy and learning day right at the start of my internship helped me get to know the company and its employees very well, which eased the jump into the cold water of customer projects. The leap into the cold water and working independently on various projects right from the start was something I now think of being the best thing that could have happened and only made me accelerate my professional growth.

Q: How does a work day look like?

No day is the same. The range of customers, industries, and projects is quite diverse, leading to different tasks, and it changes from project to project. In general, I focused on scouting startups for corporate innovation programs, coaching startups in their early/growth phases, validating innovation projects for global corporates, and pushing innovation topics further. For example, I supported creating a study with over 40 participants about corporate innovation, which you can check out here.

Q: How was working with the WhatAVenture team?

Next to the exciting day-to-day tasks, the team at WhatAVenture is what made my decision to stay very easy. The team is very diverse skills and cultural-wise, which is a great combination. As everyone tries to share their knowledge with the team, internal learning sessions and group events are organized regularly. We recently started an in-house running club where our managing directors, managers, and the rest of the team train together once/twice a week after work. What fascinated me at WhatAVenture is that everyone treats each other equally and with the needed respect.

Q: What was your highlight during the internship?

My highlight during the internship was my first own project. As there were many 'firsts' in this project, such as validating new products/markets for our client's business model, presenting the concepts to the board of one of the most prominent players on the market, directly reporting to the client weekly, and even forming long-term partnerships with our client, I was constantly being challenged which made my learning curve look more like a golf club than a hockey stick ;) This project meant very much to me as I had great support from the lead manager, which enabled me to work independently, take over responsibilities, and mark my step into the real business world. On top of that, the project exceeded the client's expectations, which gave us all a boost of confidence and made us proud!

Q: What were the next steps for you after your internship?

During the six-month internship, I got a lot of insights into how to validate ideas, what tools are needed to build up a company, and how to make such a company grow. Having acquired specific skills in that field, and with WhatAVenture being a Company Builder, I was increasingly looking into the portfolio companies and gained interest in supporting businesses in their growth stage. During my internship, I got the chance to start at one of the internal startups: Wood_Space. Having a background within the construction industry and significant timber construction industry, it felt like this chance could combine my knowledge in the construction industry with my desire to work in a young company at a growth stage. It just felt right.

Q: What are you currently doing at WhatAVenture?

Even before my internship at WhaAVenture ended, I seized the opportunity to join one of WhatAVenture's company building projects, Wood_Space, as the assistant to the CEO. After acquiring some innovation knowledge, going back into the construction industry seemed a good next step for my career. My focus as a project manager is to ensure our clients get their Wood_Space modular houses in time and best quality.My internship at WhatAVenture summed up in one word: Opportunities. Working with many international companies from various industries on different projects, always having a very supportive team in the back opened opportunities daily. Opportunities to learn, grow, get responsibility and dig deep into the world of both corporates and startups. The spirit of pushing each other and the company further made me not want to leave WhatAVenture!

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