Intern Spotlight: Aziz Malouche

My search for a summer internship with a Tunisian startup is what led me to WeRebase. More technically, I found them through Deloitte’s Promise program. I wanted a startup internship because I hope to eventually create a startup of my own! I knew this would give me the chance to see what challenges startups face.

I sent emails to WeRebase and a few other startups expressing my interest. I found this part difficult, as I had almost no work experience and was only a freshman in college. And during my interview for WeRebase with Ghaleb and Karim, I told them exactly that. What I was surprised to hear was that, in the end, Karim had told me he appreciated that I was honest with them, and that in doing so, even by admitting I had fewer qualifications, I was more likely to get an offer. In the end, I got offers from 3 startups. I chose WeRebase because I thought that I could be of most use to them, as WeRebase benefits from student input on ideas (as it is students in my position exactly that WeRebase seeks to help). Also, since I have always lived and gone to school in the US, I could perhaps also offer a unique perspective. Finally, I found Ghaleb and Karim to be more welcoming than the others I had spoken to.

We agreed on a 2 month summer internship. Early on, my communications were mostly with Ghaleb. We got into the rhythm of setting up weekly meetings. I was most impressed and appreciative of the fact that he would spend upwards of an hour with me during these meetings, sometimes just making sure I was up to date with WeRebase’s goals and everything that was being done or needed to be done to achieve them.

Ghaleb never ceased to make one thing clear. The internship worked both ways. He wanted me to help WeRebase, but he also emphasized that he wanted me to learn a lot. At the start, I struggled to find exactly how I could be of help to WeRebase, but as time went on, I found myself always having something to do. And from then on, everything I did at WeRebase taught me something. Especially because I was given the flexibility to work on a variety of different early stage startup topics.

My first task was to compile a list of information on every startup competition, accelerator, and incubator I could find in France. After that, I spent a lot of time learning about marketing, on LinkedIn especially. I took classes on LinkedIn and am now certified in LinkedIn Marketing! I set up an ad campaign on LinkedIn for WeRebase using target audiences. I set bidding and budgeting, ad objectives, ad format, and more by applying what I learned during my research on marketing strategies. I also learned to market on google ads, facebook, and instagram.

On the more creative side of things, I gave my input on the WeRebase website and ideas for improvement. I did that same for ad creatives themselves. Ghaleb and Karim fostered a very strong environment for creativity and collaboration. I appreciated that not only were my ideas listened to, but also valued and applied directly to the website and ad creatives.

The biggest thing I learned from WeRebase, personally, is that I no longer believe I need to wait four years to finish school to start my working life. This became especially evident to me because I was given lots of flexibility. I understood that I could do as much or as little work as I wanted to. But what I came to realize was the more work I put in at WeRebase, the more I learned and, hence, the more value I got personally. This was the best incentive. And helped me develop a good work ethic.

I only wish we had more time to work together in person. Our in person interaction was very brief, and while this was largely due to COVID, I found it unfortunate as our human interaction allowed us to collectively be more innovative and efficient. In an expectation vs reality meme, my expectations were to be spending most of the time in that in person environment, when really, a lot of my time was spent glued to my computer doing research on YouTube, Clubhouse (which Karim kindly invited me to -- back when it was invite-only), LinkedIn, and about a thousand other sites that were then all applied to WeRebase. This is the reality of a startup!

My work with WeRebase has also led me to my next adventure: starting a podcast at my university! WeRebase gave me the chance to express myself and gave me a positive and flexible platform where I was inspired to pursue this next goal.

It was a pleasure to work with this team for 2 months. I admire that Ghaleb, Karim, fellow intern Yassine, and I were able to work well together, listen and respect each other. Our interactions helped me realize personal strengths I did not realize I had. WeRebase’s mission to gratuitously help students in my position get internships at startups of their choice is admirable. While my internship has come to a technical end, I look forward to continuing to watch WeRebase grow and hopping in to help if ever needed!

Thank you for the opportunity and time, Ghaleb and Karim. I wish you both the best!

Aziz Malouche

I am currently an undergraduate sophomore enrolled in Virginia Tech's Engineering program. I am pursuing a major in Industrial & Systems Engineering with minors in Green Engineering and Innovation. In the Summer of 2021, I spent 2 months interning with WeRebase, where I gained experience working with an early stage startup. At Virginia Tech this year, I will be managing the Environmental Innovation Club, giving tours, and starting a school podcast! When I’m not busy, I am usually playing soccer (football) or spending time with friends and family!

Follow Aziz Malouche on LinkedIn