I spent this summer as a Summer Associate with Maine Venture Fund (MVF), thanks to support from Tuck GIVES. MVF is an impact fund that invests in Maine-based startups that generate economic activity for the state. In addition to working on fund-related activities for MVF, I was lucky enough to work on a project with one of their portfolio companies, Atlantic Sea Farms (ASF). My time spent with both MVF and ASF was an incredibly enriching experience for my MBA education, where I was able to apply skills I’ve learned in school to real a startup environment. Out of an internship that was a balance of VC and startup exposure, I ended the summer excited as ever about the important work that climate- and impact-focused businesses are doing for our planet, and the investors that support them.
Coming from a public policy and regulatory background prior to grad school, I sometimes have to intentionally piece together where my expertise can add the most value in a business context. I was pleasantly surprised to not only find myself on a project with ASF that explicitly required the use of these skills, but with a company I greatly admire. Atlantic Sea Farms is changing the game for fresh, local kelp and is a leader in seaweed aquaculture in the United States. It was extremely rewarding being able to use my prior experience in a new context and learn a lot along the way.
Both of these companies, MVF and ASF, encouraged me to try my hand at various tasks, which allowed me to add new skills to my toolbox. For instance, at the outset of the internship, my project with ASF was narrow in scope to understanding one particular regulation. By the end of the summer, however, they had welcomed me into team meetings and day-to-day operations, and I found myself contributing in ways unrelated to the original task. I’m grateful to Briana Warner, CEO of Atlantic Sea Farms, and the team for bringing me in and giving me a behind-the-scenes look at their company. Because of this, I learned about several other areas of their business which ended up helping me more clearly address my initial project task.
I applied for this internship with MVF because I was interested in the opportunity to gain experience within both a VC fund and an impact-driven startup. Having the chance to work in Maine, a state where I have family roots and care deeply about the region’s economic prosperity, was a big-time bonus. Maine Venture Fund is diligently doing great work for the state, and I am grateful I was able to spend time learning from Joe, Nina, John, and Terri. I’m excited to see what the future holds for both ASF and MVF!
The Tuck GIVES fund supports Tuck students' summer internships with nonprofit or public sector organizations. Each year, the Tuck community gathers to raise funds predominantly through a silent and live auction. Tuck Gives is student-organized with support from the Center for Business, Government & Society and Career Services.