Arts

Navigating Intern and City Life Through a Podcast

One Woman Shares Her Startup Experience

By Emily Zoda

“The Intern” shares a story of self doubt in the typical three month intern, but for Allison Behringer, the show’s host, it’s way more high stakes.

After teaching English as a foreign language to public school children and starting a nonprofit health education startup for women in India, she ended up in the Bronx teaching 10th grade English.

She produced two documentaries through Salt Institute of Documentary Studies and even produced a documentary on hormonal birth control, exercising her passion for storytelling and women’s health.

Behringer received an email one fateful day about an extraordinary opportunity in storytelling and media producing. She eagerly replied back and ends up at Betaworks Studios, where this podcast comes from.

Betaworks is a company solely made up of startups. At the age of 27 she became a temporary worker for a company that could be terminated at any moment, A.K.A. an intern.

Scary right? Even worse, she struggled through the better part of the year trying to find a permanent place to stay in Brooklyn. She had been subletting for a long time, moving from place to place when her month was up.

She delves into the tech side of Betaworks, talks about what different entities they own (Instapaper, Giphy, and Dots, just to name a few), and how venture capital works. Twitter becomes her daily duty in the office, located in the Lower West Side of Manhattan, as well as reporting her findings in the mysterious operations that is Betaworks.

It’s no “Serial” but while listening to this, you’ll have a warm and fuzzy yet hard feeling that someone out there is still trying to make it in the job industry even long after graduating from college. But at the same time, she doesn’t make it all about the tech. This is her podcast, so she talks about in experience with subletting, finding roommates and her infamous trip to IKEA.

In the first episode, she talks to her grandfather on the phone who at his age doesn’t understand the lifestyle and culture of being an intern and constantly questioned whether she was getting benefits at her new job.

As if she wasn’t nervous enough, she learns about the way tech startups are funded and how at any minute something could fall through and not get funding anymore.

The series is only four episodes in, but the preview podcast had me hooked. I was curious to hear about an intern older than your average college student, especially now with the rise of interns now can range anywhere from 20 to 55 (such as “The Intern” with Robert De Niro, who was depicted as 70).

Due to a technological and generational gap, she struggles to grasp the idea of Twitter and hashtags in her third episode and she subtly asks her Betaworks colleagues for help. Can you imagine working for a tech company and not knowing how to work Twitter?

Aside from work, she slowly works the storyline of her own backstory into the podcast only reaching as far as getting a permanent place to stay by the grace of God and an awkward trip to IKEA.

Her eloquent narrative and little knowledge of tech itself draws the listener into a unique and intimate experience. And you’re always left wondering how far the ride will go.

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