Interns of EvrekaCrew are Telling I: Yusuf Tasli from Harvard University
So happy to announce that during the Covid-19 process, we had a chance to focus on changing the way we work while also focusing on the well-being of EvrekaCrew. When we started to work remotely as a team, we also started a new online intern process for our candidates. As EvrekaCrew, our reflex to change has always been adaptation. As a response to this huge change, we had a great chance to meet our excellent interns this unique period for the business. So, we decided to explain our and the interns’ experience as a series.
In this chapter, you will be listening to Yusuf Taşlı who worked on two projects with Evreka during this summer after his MBA at Harvard Business School.
Hello Yusuf! First of all who are you?
Hi, after graduating from METU Industrial Engineering Department in 2015, I worked as a management consultant for about three years until I started the MBA program at Harvard. I graduated in May 2020 and afterwards the school provided me an opportunity to work for a startup through the Summer Fellowship Program for 2 months. I have known Evreka and its co-founders since it was established and I gladly reached out to them to support the team. We jointly built a scope and then I started my “summer project internship”.
Can you define your role and duties for this internship at Evreka?
We focused on answering two different questions. First of all, we analyzed the waste management industry from end-to-end and evaluated Evreka’s current positioning. After assessing they market dynamics, customers and competition, we tried to define “where to play“. Secondly, we built a global operations playbook for Evreka, which is a company operating in more than 40 countries. This playbook consisted of strategy and toolkit regarding a ROI-driven sales approach, roles and responsibilities as well as pricing strategy.
How was the experience working with EvrekaCrew?
I have always been curious about the entrepreneurship ecosystem and the startups. It was a great opportunity for me to witness a fast-growing company. EvrekaCrew is great, always ready to share their experience and also learn. While trying to do their best for the common goal of Evreka, they are also having fun and helping each other at the same time. I had the chance to work with different teams and thus could see how complex the day-to-day operations could be. The team is always trying to improve for the longer term.
In light of this internship experience, how have your personal goals evolved?
During these 2 months, I had the chance to test a hypothesis about myself: “Considering my personality and competences, I can be much more successful supporting a relatively small company's growth rather than starting one from the scratch as a co-founder and going through the first stages”.
Evreka, with a team of 25-30 people and an established product-market fit, provided me the exact context to test this hypothesis. My personal learnings through the internship validated my thoughts one more time, even if this was a remote 2-month experience.
Do you recommend anything for our candidates towards working for a startup/scaleup?
I believe the goal of doing an internship should be to test an hypotheses about your career. There are three aspects of a job: Industry (e.g. waste management), function (e.g. marketing) and type of the business (corporation, government, startup or advisory).
I think your hypothesis should cover at least two of these three. For example, if you want to work in the field of marketing and you want to see if a startup or a corporation is better, then it makes sense to work at both of them, in similar industries if possible, and experience the differences yourself.
Overall, I think it is important to experience a startup, but it probably will not be very helpful to do an internship just for the sake of “startup experience”.
I know that you are a consultant and you have experienced different sectors and projects, can you describe the difference between corporates and startups from a consultant point of view?
In strategy consulting, our main task is to help any company with solving very complex problems. Our work consists of a lot of analysis and communication. We work very closely with the client to define the best solution for them that could be implementable for effective results. After giving them the roadmap, most of the time (especially on strategy projects) our job is done after the final presentation, leaving the implementation for the client team. During my internship at Evreka, I acted mostly as a “consultant”, focusing on the bigger picture, performing analyses with the team and coming up with the potential solutions and strategy as well as developing helpful tools. After handing over the outputs and tools to the respective person on the team for implementation, my task was done. In the same timeframe, if I had been an Evreka employee, I would have focused on a much narrower task and had taken it from initial diagnosis, analysis to full implementation.
Even though I haven’t worked specifically at a corporation or a startup (besides 4 internships), there are a few points I would like to mention.
First of all, the vision and roadmap of the companies can change much more rapidly at startups so employees need to be flexible and accompanying. Corporate companies have their goals and objectives for the next few years carefully planned, and they cannot change these very easily especially considering their large institutional investors. On the other hand, startups can and will pivot occasionally especially at the beginning of their establishment. Thus startups are in constant change from the products to the way of working.
Secondly, at a startup, you should be a problem solver almost every day (firefighting) while trying to contribute to the long term vision of the company. On the other hand, corporations are more established so you can switch between the two more easily. This also translates into the fact that the roles and responsibilities of the employees are often not clearly separated or defined at startups as well as at large corporations. This can lead to a lot of fluctuation in the workload and occasions where employees need to support functions they have never experienced before.
As a result of all of the above, the learning curve is different in startups vs corporations. While taking a lot of different responsibilities and having a high workload, you learn to become a generalist problem solver at startups. This gives you the opportunity to witness all the processes including research, operations, and implementation.
Would you like to add something else?
Some industries are not sexy by default. Waste management does not look very attractive when viewed from the outside, but the impact can be very deep and quick in such industries. Evreka works with municipalities and waste collection companies and the methods used by these customers are very old and manual. Therefore, there are many points to improve and develop using technology and Evreka’s current and potential product lineup can rapidly improve the industry. These improvements translate into savings for the entities, and Evreka can rightly get its share from the pie. Lastly, the technology and product family we use, are contributing to the transformation of the world into a more sustainable place. So, after my experience I can say even more confidently that it is very enjoyable and meaningful to work at a company like Evreka.
I wish Evreka and EvrekaCrew all the best going forward!
You can join the EvrekaCrew here!