Last week, I started my first official Northeastern co-op at Fairmarkit, and one of my first orders of business was to create a blog about my experience and the company culture. Fairmarkit is a tail spend management SaaS startup. For those that don’t know, tail spend is generally defined as the 80% of transactions that account for 20% of a company’s net spend (small, infrequent purchases). Tail spend management is something that most companies haven’t historically addressed and as a result are wasting a lot of time and money. Our software automates the tail spend management process, saving buyers money and opening up vendors to new clients. At just two years old, Fairmarkit is already connected to some massive companies like the MBTA, Uber, and Univision. It’s clear to me that the team here is developing rapidly.
Compared to school and classes, startup life is a completely different environment. It’s so fast-paced that it’s not uncommon to find our CEO Kevin Frechette sprinting up and down the stairs of the not quite up to code/slightly slanted/lacking hot water studio we call our office. With stand-up desks littered around the room, I can comfortably hear everything anyone is saying from anywhere in the room. However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the team is very close knit, and very welcoming to new members. This is a 180-degree difference from the awkward, forced groups I’ve dealt with for 19 and a half years of my life thus far in school. The team here is young and energized with significant market experience. We are completely ready to disrupt the procurement industry.
Located in the middle of Chinatown, it’s a pretty easy commute for me. I’m lucky that the emphasis is just on getting 40 hours a week and not so much on rigid start and end times. I’ve been working from roughly 8-5pm, and something that’s just occurred to me as I’m writing this is that that’s 9 hours a day, or a 45-hour work week, so maybe I’ll be able to talk (or write) my way into Friday half days!
All jokes aside, this has been a really fun and interesting start to my professional career. In just four days, I’ve done more for the company than some of my collegiate counterparts at other companies will do in the entirety of their six-month co-ops. While Sales and Operations Co-op isn’t the fanciest sounding title, I get to interact with every aspect of the business and I’m confident I’ll be able to integrate into a position far better than other co-ops. This is because I will have gained experience in every facet of a business, figured out how to quickly become a part of an overall team and I’ll have dealt with real problems as opposed to sitting at my desk while a team of full-time employees solves problems themselves. In fact, that last point is actually impossible for me to do as of right now because I literally don’t have a desk to sit at. I’m really excited for these next six months with the team, and I’ll be checking in occasionally on the blog to let you know how it’s going!