My name is Soreal Gray. I’m a Junior at Washington University in St. Louis majoring in Psychology. This summer I’m interning at Doorward, a St. Louis-based start-up committed to offering sophisticated yet simple tools for the rental ecosystem. Doorward prides itself on providing DIY Landlords, those who rent from them, and those who work on these properties with a clean, efficient system that streamlines their interactions. (https://www.doorward.com).
Being that this is my first internship, I didn’t know what to expect going into it. I was also unsure of how I would do with the IT aspect of the role since IT is not my area of expertise. On the other hand, I was excited to gain experience, skills, and knowledge in a new area. I spent the first few days of my internship taking a course on gamification- adding game elements to mundane/ “boring” tasks. It laid the foundation for the projects I would be working on. I learned so much just in that short time and gained a new interest in the topic. Prior to Doorward, I’d never heard of gamification. After learning about it, I realized how prevalent it is in the world around us. I felt like I was seeing things with new eyes.
From there I learned Figma. My first encounter with Figma was in an Into to Fashion class my sophomore year at Wash U and it wasn’t a good experience. I had a lot of technical issues and found it to be complicated and not user-friendly. Based on my past experience with Figma, I wasn't too excited to hear I would be working with it for my internship. Nevertheless, I took the time to learn the software and even grew to like using it. It didn’t take me long to get the hang of it and within a couple of days, I was prototyping for the Doorward app and my own app.
My experience at Doorward has been everything I could have hoped for in an internship. I like the autonomy, freedom of creativity, and encouragement I receive from the team. One of the main missions of Doorward is to empower self-starters with opportunities to thrive. I’ve definitely experienced that mission firsthand. My supervisor encourages me to pursue my entrepreneurial pursuits and really apply what I learn from their company projects to my own businesses. He gave me the push I needed to roll up my sleeves and make progress in my business development. Prior to the development of my businesses, were stagnant. One day, I met with my supervisor to see what I would be working on for the day, and to my surprise, he told me to work on goals and milestones for my business. I was excited and felt equipped to complete the task drawing from what I learned the day before, creating milestones for my Doorward project. My supervisor shared with me that his entrepreneurial mindset got him noticed by his bosses. They admired the fact that he was working on his own side projects alongside the work he was doing for them. He has adopted that same method with me. I don’t see my internship as just something to put on my resume but as a learning experience that’s giving me skills and knowledge, I can use in other areas of life.