Work Experience At CoinJar – Emily’s Story

At CoinJar, we focus on innovation. Innovation is led through education and collaboration. Last week Emily, a Year 10 student from Lauriston Girls’ School, who is fascinated with tech and start-ups, joined us for a week to do her work experience with our team. Here is her story.

Why I decided to do work experience at CoinJar

Work experience was coming up and I had already tried the usual ‘fun’ places like the aquarium, but they were already booked out. That was when I decided that I should use this opportunity to do something that I could learn from and do something that I’m interested in. When I thought about what my interests were I didn’t really come up with anything. Then I realised that bitcoin was something that I was fascinated with. I looked up CoinJar and after looking at their website I saw that this was a great opportunity. Not only am I involved with bitcoin but also the fact that they’re a start-up company was different. So when the CEO, Asher got back to me and accepted my request I was super excited.

Getting Started

Even though I was really excited and nervous about coming to CoinJar, I wasn’t expecting to actually be doing much. What else is a 16 year old student good for apart from getting the team’s coffee or just hanging around? This, from what I’d heard, was a usual day of work experience. The CoinJar team set up an account on Basecamp for me, so that they can contact and communicate with me before I arrived. I was shocked that they had bothered to take the time.

Arriving on my first day I knew that I had a day full of meeting new people so you can imagine how nervous I was. When I got there I met Andrew and Anne who were very welcoming and friendly which helped to settle the nerves. After talking to them about what I wanted to get out of this experience I proceeded to have a meeting with everyone working at CoinJar. This gave me an amazing insight into what each person does to help run the online business. From having a quick interview with everyone, I could see how driven everyone was to the company’s success. Which is what allows for the atmosphere to be so relaxed and comfortable.

My tasks for the week

On the first day they set me up with two tasks for the week, one was to write this blog and the other was to create a campaign targeting my demographic to educate them about bitcoins. I was really eager to get immersed into creating this campaign. Once I actually began to try and think of ideas I realised that this was not an easy task. On Wednesday, Anne, Andrew and James were going to Hub Melbourne’s Spark Event at the NAB Village and invited me to join them. It was a business event designed to help people communicate and sustain new ideas. They had four great guest speakers give enlightening talks and run a few workshops. I really enjoyed it and got a lot of information and tools from the experience.

My Campaign – Yogurt and Bitcoins

The campaign has been the main focus of my week at CoinJar. I was really excited to have the chance to create an actual campaign for them even if it didn’t work. I finally came up with the idea to use a Frozen Yoghurt franchise to support bitcoin. Using CoinJar’s bitcoin vouchers and promoting the campaign by posting a 30 second Flipagram on social media to get people involved.

Sam talked me through how to write up and deliver a pitch. The write up forced me to consider all of the elements and really think through what the campaign is going to do and the outcome. After I finished the write up I began going through the process of collecting the contacts of any potential partners. I then began to draft an email to send out outlining my campaign. It took me some time to finish because I was learning how to get my idea across in a concise and simple manner without going into too much detail. After sending the email on the Thursday I was shocked to find that, on Friday morning, I had a reply from one of the stores I had contacted. He was interested in discussing the idea further which is more than I ever expected when I first started planning the campaign.

Final Thoughts

I have learned so much in my week here. From day 1 I was exposed to every part of how the business runs and how to use an idea to build a company. One of the insights that kept reoccurring was how everyone working at CoinJar wanted to be there and contribute to its success. Everyone gave me the same advice about choosing a career path: to follow what I wanted to do and created jobs that suited me rather than to suit yourself to a job.

I will carry that advice for a long time because I saw firsthand how much each of them enjoys their job because they followed that advice. Another aspect from this work experience that I will take away with me is that start-ups are really unique in the way they operate. By not being a huge company they have an advantage. By not having a hierarchy it creates a comfortable environment where ideas are openly shared. Being a small business, they are able to be part of the team, however wacky and crazy it might be. Overall this has been an amazing experience and opportunity and I would like to thank the team at CoinJar for making it happen. Best of luck for the future!